Tyler Moore reported to the Syracuse Chiefs earlier this month and wasn’t too worried about mechanics, overhauling a swing or learning any new tricks. He just wanted a chance to hit every day and find some semblance of rhythm at the plate.
While Moore saw regular action with the Nats during Jayson Werth’s stint on the disabled list, he was relegated to a pinch-hitting role in early June. His .158 average wasn’t enough to keep him with the big league team.
“That’s probably the most difficult job in baseball, pinch hitting,” he said before a Chiefs’ game last week. “It’s not for everybody. It’s a mental grind for yourself and a grind for all the guys who are on that bench. …I’m glad they gave me the opportunity to come down here and play. It’s going to work out good.”
Moore has been playing the outfield every day for the Chiefs. Through 12 games, he’s hitting .178 with a pair of home runs. In 45 at-bats, he’s posted 15 strikeouts — nearly double his number of hits (8) — and is hitless in his last four games
“It’s all about getting the feel back,” said Syracuse manager Tony Beasley. “He’s an aggressive hitter. He likes the fastball in the zone. He’s missing fastballs right now that he’ll usually do damage with. So it’s just timing for him right now.”
Last season Moore was also assigned to Syracuse, where he fared much better, hitting .307 with nine homers in 29 games. He’s hoping regular plate appearances will help him find a similar rhythm this season and he can again re-join the Nats.
“It’s fun getting some consistent at-bats, that’s for sure,” he said. “Knowing I’m gonna come out here and play every day. …It gets a lot more comfortable just because you know if you fail, you’ll get another opportunity. It relaxes you a little more, it’s not so result-oriented on hits. It gets back to being a fun game again.”