Following the two-game disaster in Detroit, the Nationals open a three-game set with the Brewers starting tonight.
They do so with their general manager locked up long-term and their No. 3-5 starters set to take the mound in Milwaukee.
Tonight, it’ll be Jordan Zimmermann getting the ball against old pal Tom Gorzelanny, who has worked his way into the Brewers’ rotation within the last month.
When the Nationals sent Tyler Moore back to Triple-A Syracuse on July 8, they said the plan was to give Moore a chance to play every day.
The 26-year-old first baseman/outfielder had struggled mightily with the Nats this season, having a hard time replicating the success in a reserve role that he had last season, when he slugged 10 homers in just 156 at-bats.
Well, Moore has gotten a chance to play every day at Syracuse, and he’s played very well.
In his last 10 games, Moore is hitting a robust .389/.488/.694, and that’s after an 0-for-4 on Wednesday, his first hitless game in an eight-game span.
Overall in 29 games at Syracuse this season, Moore is hitting .307/.396/.535. He’s been crushing left-handed pitching, posting a 1.139 OPS against southpaws, and has a .344/.425/.781 slash line with runners in scoring position.
Yeah, all tremendous numbers.
So that begs the question - now that Moore is hitting again, do the Nats plan on trying to make room for him back at the big league level anytime soon?
Davey Johnson was asked that question recently. Johnson’s answer, in so many words, was no.
“Here’s a young player that I think is like an everyday player,” Johnson said. “He has potential to be an everyday player on a first-division ballclub. Him handling the role, although I think as time goes on, I think he could handle (being) a super-sub coming off the bench. But it’s very difficult for a young player that’s used to playing every day to do that. That’s usually old guys like me that come off the bench, pinch-hit, play once a week.
“So he’s getting some more valuable experience playing every day than up here and not having that opportunity.”
Scott Hairston hasn’t exactly torn it up since joining the Nats as their right-handed power bat off the bench, recording two hits in his 17 at-bats. But Hairston is much more comfortable serving as a bench player than Moore, given that it’s a role that Hairston has filled much of his career.
If Moore was promoted back up to the bigs, he’d be thrust right back into a spot where he’d be getting just a couple at-bats a week, especially with Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth both now healthy.
What the Nationals want now is Moore to continue getting consistent playing time, allowing him to work through any offensive issues he might encounter. Moore will almost certainly be brought back to the big leagues once rosters expand in September, but for now, as far as the Nats are concerned, Moore is right where he needs to be.
A quick note: I’m heading up to Connecticut tonight to be in my friend Chris’ wedding this weekend, so I won’t be on the Nats beat for a couple days. Byron Kerr and the MASNsports.com staff will have you covered, however, and I’ll be back Monday for the Nats’ huge series against the Braves. Have a good weekend, everyone.