The Nationals started Tyler Moore in left field again Thursday night for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. It was his second career game in the outfield after playing first base exclusively.
Moore made one catch Monday with no problems and general manager Mike Rizzo said the 25-year-old will continue to see time in the outfield this season.
“He just started working out in the outfield,” Rizzo said. “We’ve got our outfield coordinator, Tony Tarasco, kind of putting him through the paces. He’s going to play a few games out there. We feel that will give him a little more versatility. He’s a good, potent, right-handed bat that we see helping us up here in the future. So we’re trying to give him as much versatility as we can.”
Although the franchise has been extremely pleased with what they have seen from Moore, he is not considered a substitute for an injured Michael Morse (left lat injury).
“That’s too many ‘ifs’ for me,” Rizzo said. “We feel Morse is going to come back. And all along, we’ve felt Moore has the capability to play in the big leagues.”
But with Moore hitting 56 homers in his past 207 games, Rizzo and the Nationals are certainly aware of what they have.
“I really liked his approach this spring training,” Rizzo said of Moore. “He’s always been a guy that’s had a good approach at the plate. He’s shown a propensity to hit and to hit for power.”
Manager Davey Johnson said the outfield depth within the organization has taken a big leap forward since last season, especially with guys like Moore, Bryce Harper and Corey Brown playing so well and showing tremendous potential.
Rizzo said Brown has made some slight adjustments and has really hit his groove in Syracuse.
“Corey Brown has taken what he did in spring training and has just continued into the season,” Rizzo said. “He’s got a good game plan at the plate now. They’ve tweaked his approach, his mechanics a little bit over the course of last season and through spring training. And he’s really come a long way, defensively and offensively.”
While in low Single-A Hagerstown, No. 34 selection Brian Goodwin suffered a quad injury the first week of the season, but traveled with the club on their road trip and continues to progress.
“He’s still rehabbing,” Rizzo reported on Goodwin. “He’s making good progress. It wasn’t a serious (injury). But he’s a speed player, so we’ve got to make sure we’re ultra-careful with him, because a lot of his game is dependent on his feet.”