PITTSBURGH -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson decided to start outfielder/infielder Tyler Moore in left field on Wednesday after having a talk with third-base coach Bo Porter.
With left field being so spacious at PNC Park, Johnson wanted to make sure Moore could handle the position. Porter, who is also an outfield coach, helped Moore make the transition from first base to left field.
"I asked, 'Is it too roomy for a converted first baseman who doesn't have a lot of games out there?'" said Johnson. "[Porter] said he was comfortable with it, so I'm comfortable with it."
Since he joined the Nationals on April 29, Moore has been coming off the bench. In five big league games entering Wednesday's action, Moore was 2-for-7 (.286). Moore, who is ranked No. 14 on MLB.com's list of Top 20 Nationals prospects, was hitting .286 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs for Triple-A Syracuse before getting recalled.
In 2010 and 2011, Moore hit a combined 60 home runs with 201 RBIs for Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
"Tyler Moore has a lot of potential. We have to put him in the lineup. He has been sitting an awful lot," Johnson said. "So he is in [the lineup]."
Asked how Moore has handled being a bench player in the big leagues, Johnson said, "I think he has been exemplary. He has had some good at-bats. He has had an awfully good Minor League career. I hate to bring a kid up and not play him. I haven't handled that situation very [well]."
Johnson also indicated that Moore could get more playing time in the future, but he wants to see how Xavier Nady and Roger Bernadina perform. They are expected to see a lot of action because Jayson Werth is expected to miss at least 12 weeks because of a broken left wrist.