Moore optioned to Syracuse, Solano to be recalled

The Nationals made a roster move after today’s 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins, optioning first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse.

They are expected to recall catcher Jhonatan Solano from Syracuse before Tuesday’s game to serve share duties with catcher Carlos Maldonado, who went 0-for-4 in today’s defeat.

The only other catcher on the active roster is Jesus Flores, who left Sunday’s game with a mild right hamstring strain. The impending arrival of the 26-year-old Solano might be an indication that Flores will be out for a few more days and manager Davey Johnson doesn’t want to be shorthanded.

Johnson told reporters before today’s game that infielder/outfielder Steve Lombardozzi would be his emergency catcher, even though the rookie has never played the position. But it’s clear the Nationals don’t want anything to necessitate such a dire arrangement.

Solano, who is hitting .250 for Syracuse, recently returned to the roster after missing time with back problems. Had he been available, Solano probably would have been recalled when Sandy Leon went on the disabled list with a high ankle sprain May 14.

If activated, Solano would become the fifth catcher used by the Nationals this season, following Wilson Ramos (out for the year after an ACL injury), Flores, Leon and Maldonado. Coming into the season, the Nats considered catcher to be a strength - with the tandem of Ramos and Flores - and sufficient enough depth that they traded catcher Derek Norris to the A’s over the winter in the Gio Gonzalez deal.

Moore, the top power-hitting prospect in the organization, hit .158 in 12 games. He was used infrequently by Johnson off the bench and will benefit from regular playing time at Triple-A.

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