(Denis Poroy/GETTY IMAGES)

Chad Tracy is starting again tonight against the Phillies and right-hander Kyle Kendrick as Moore, who blasted seven homers at Class AAA Syracuse this year, sits. Johnson still believes – “I’m hoping,” he said – that LaRoche will return in three or four games. With the knowledge that Moore will likely head back to Syracuse afterward, Johnson wants to give available at-bats to Tracy and Xavier Nady to keep them fresh.

“The guy over there is the guy I’m playing,” Johnson said. “I like the heck out of Tyler Moore. He can flat-out hit. But he’s a rookie. [LaRoche] is going to be out a few days. This is not the time to be trying to break a young phenom in to a position that the owner is going to come back real soon.

“The guys that are going to be here need the at-bats. I would think long and hard about Nady after Tracy. As much as I love young talent, and I think he’s a good one, it also would not really be fair to [Moore]. He’s not used to that role.”