The Nationals were allowed to have 26 players on their active roster today because of the doubleheader, but now that the two games today are over and done with, a cut needed to be made.
The guy to go down will be Tyler Moore.
After calling up first baseman Chris Marrero earlier today, the Nats decided to option Moore to Triple-A Syracuse after tonight’s 5-4 win over the Twins.
Despite having a very impressive rookie campaign last year, when he hit 10 homers and slugged .513, Moore has struggled offensively this season, hitting .149 with a .464 OPS in 101 plate appearances.
“We just need to get him some playing time,” manager Davey Johnson said. “(Bryce) Harper’s coming back, and there won’t be as much playing time. And I don’t want to waste that just talent sitting around, I’d rather have him (get) some playing time. He’ll be back soon. He’s an outstanding player. But just want to kind of get him freshened up, kind of like what we did last year. I wanted to do it earlier and then we had some injuries that prohibited it.
“But he’s a great talent and he’ll go down there and ... it’s good that he left with a nice base hit in the afternoon. I think he’ll go back down there with a good frame of mind.”
Moore seemed upbeat after the game despite the demotion. Asked what was lacking offensively for him this season, Moore cracked, “Getting base hits, mainly.”
He added, “I’ve been swinging out of the strike zone a little bit, but just stuff wasn’t falling the way it usually is and I was striking out too much, so just had to make some adjustments and I didn’t make them quickly enough.
“It’s tough leaving the team, especially after two wins, but I know Davey and (general manager Mike Rizzo) have the best interest of me and this team (in mind) and that needs to be the move right now. That’s kind of what it is. ... Hopefully (getting back up soon is) the plan. Just go down there and be comfortable. I’m up here to hit. I’m not up here to play defense, and I’m not hitting, so they need to make a move. There’s no excuses there.”
After spending a month with the Nats early in the season last year, Moore was sent down to Syracuse for about two weeks. He found a groove offensively during that mini-stint back at Syracuse and was promoted to the Nats a week into June. He stuck on the roster the rest of the season.
The Nats hope something similar happens this season.
“We think so highly of him, this is the best thing,” Johnson said. “Just get him some regular playing time. Last year he wasn’t down very long and (he) came back and I expect that to happen this year, too.”