WASHINGTON—Tyler Moore's bat was dangerous enough at Triple-A Syracuse to earn him a look in left field and eventually his first big league callup. Now the natural first baseman wants to keep from thinking too much about his additional position.
"The toughest thing is not to panic—realizing you have more time than you do in the infield, not overanalyzing." said Moore, a 16th-round pick in 2008 out of Mississippi State. "I'm trying not to make a fool out of myself, but at the same time I'm trying not to be a hero either."
Moore had been expected to play left field every third day for the Chiefs, but he earned a promotion less than two weeks after his pro outfield debut. In his first game for the Nationals, he played left and went 1-for-3 at Dodger Stadium. Moore received the call when Mark DeRosa went on the disabled list.
With regular left fielder Michael Morse on the DL and first baseman Adam LaRoche off to a strong start, Washington already had a more acute need in the outfield. Thus came the transition for Moore.
This past offseason in instructional league, Moore played about 10 straight days in left. Otherwise, he hadn't played the position until starting there two times in mid-April in the International League.
"He's only played a couple of games (in left) but has been good there this far," farm director Doug Harris said.
Prior to his callup, the 25-year-old righthanded hitter had little trouble adjusting to the pitching in his first Triple-A season. He cranked seven homers in 77 at-bats for Syracuse while batting .286/.364/.597.
Moore said Chiefs hitting coach Troy Gingrich, who also worked with him last year at Double-A Harrisburg, had helped him concentrate on trying to drive the ball up the middle. In the outfield, Moore has learned about taking proper routes from coordinator Tony Tarasco.
"If anyone in this organization thinks I can help this ballclub as an outfielder, I'm all in," Moore said soon after the outfield experiment began.
• The Nationals removed rookie Steve Lombardozzi from the left-field shuffle in Washington but continued to deploy him as a backup at third base, second base and shortstop. He began the year by batting 11-for-38 (.289) with four walks and four strikeouts.
• Last year's fifth-rounder, third baseman Matt Skole batted .321/.441/.538 in his first 78 at-bats for low Class A Hagerstown. He led the South Atlantic League with 32 RBIs.