As Tyler Moore approached his locker in the hours before Tuesday’s game against Arizona, a stack of three boxes awaited him, all containing the necessary particulars for what the Nationals 1B/OF hopes is a lengthy, if not permanent, stay.
Moore was recalled Tuesday from Class AAA after Dan Haren’s official placement on the 15-day disabled list opened up a roster spot. Entering the season, Moore stood as the Nationals’ top right-handed hitter off the bench, but in 38 games he has struggled, batting .158 with two home runs, 13 RBI and seven runs.
Moore’s 12-game stint at Syracuse wasn’t much better, as he went 8-for-45 with two homers, five walks and eight RBI, but the 26-year-old hopes the regular at-bats he received will yield more success.
“I know my average wasn’t great but I squared some balls up, had a bunch of walks and could kind of stay in the strike zone a bit more,” Moore said. “I just want to press forward and get back in that zone.”
With the team’s recent slew of injuries and struggles at the plate, Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said having another bat like Moore’s was a welcome prospect.
“[We wanted to] just get another bat that I could use in the outfield with a little more pop,” Johnson said. “It’s similar to what we did last year where he kind of struggled a little bit last year until I brought him back.”
Last year, Moore hit .263 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI during his rookie campaign. With Arizona slated to start two left-handed pitchers on Wednesday and Thursday, Moore stands to make a potential impact before Saturday, when Haren or his replacement would make their turn in the pitching rotation.
“Unfortunately Dan got hurt and it’s a blessing for me come back up,” Moore said. “I think it was kind of a combination of a slow start and kind of not getting to play. …This game is crazy; it’ll make you think crazy things on what [the pitcher is] trying to do instead of what you’re trying to do at the plate. It just felt good to get back in there and felt like baseball is fun again.”