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Moore heads to the minors for the first time this season after posting a .158 average with 36 strikeouts through 38 games this season. He was struggling with inconsistent at-bats, making just 21 starts and coming primarily off the bench. Moore thrived in the role last season with ten home runs and 29 RBI in 75 games, but could not carry over the same success this season.
“I had a talk with him,” manager Davey Johnson said. “We just need to get him some playing time.”
“I don’t want to waste that just talent sitting around, I’d rather have him (get) some playing time. He’ll be back soon. He’s an outstanding player.”
Moore understood the Nationals’ stance and said he simply wasn’t getting the job done. He can also see the silver lining in a stint at Syracuse.
“It’ll be great. The guys down there are great, the coaches are great,” Moore said.
“I’ve done it before. I did it last year for a little bit and came back up and was a lot more comfortable. Playing every day and knowing you’re going to play every day kind of relaxes you a lot. Even the last couple days and the last week, I felt a lot more relaxed. I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
Ten-year MLB veteran Adam LaRoche has had a locker just one stall down from Moore for about a year and has been there before. He offered Moore some advice before he left on Sunday night.
“I've told him over and over the last day or two that if they didn't care about you, you'd stay up here and get 4-5 at-bats a week or whatever it is,” LaRoche said.
“That's the hardest thing, being a younger guy, getting sent down for the first time, it's hard to see a positive in that. But they just want him to get at-bats, get his stroke back, get confident again.”
LaRoche said Moore would be an everyday player for a lot of teams and that he’s a great presence in the clubhouse. If he had his way, he’d keep him up in Washington.
“I hate it for him because I love having him in this clubhouse and I love having his bat and the fact that he can play outfield, play first base,” LaRoche said.
“Selfishly, it'd be nice to have him up here but there's no doubt it's the best thing for him.”