After sweeping a doubleheader on Sunday, the Washington Nationals decided to do what’s best for one of their young players, optioning 1B/OF Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse.
This move could have been seen coming, as Washington called up Syracuse first baseman Chris Marrero earlier that day as the 26th man for the doubleheader, which they swept. Calling up Marrero and sending down Moore kills two birds with one stone: Washington could get a boost to their bench, and it allows them to cut “dead weight” in a more productive fashion.
Last season, Moore was an everyday player for Syracuse, so when he came up, he was already in a groove offensively, which is why he was so productive off the bench. It is tough for a young player like Moore, who hasn’t seen a lot of major league pitching, to start the season as a bench player, especially when he was called up midseason the year prior.
Marrero being called up is well deserved, as he has had his best statistical year in the minors, hitting .306/.355/.502 with 10 HRs and 44 RBIs. The aforementioned logic of why Moore was so successful last year could also ring true for Marrero, though Marrero is not considered the same type of power hitter Moore is.
What’s going to be very fun to watch is who Washington will decide to stick with long term. With the continual idea that Ryan Zimmerman is the heir apparent to Adam LaRoche at first, will the Nationals hold onto two young first baseman with a lot of upside, stowing one away in the minors in the event of an injury, or will they package one of them in a deal to improve the team in both short and long term?
Having the kind of depth Washington has makes every hare-brained scheme a possibility, but this isn’t one of them. The fact is, whatever happens, Washington can’t lose in this situation.