Nats option Moore, call up help at catcher

Nats option Moore, call up help at catcher

MIAMI -- The Nationals optioned Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse following Monday's 5-3 loss to the Marlins, and they will recall catcher Jhonatan Solano to bolster depth at the position.

Because catcher Jesus Flores is day to day with a strained right hamstring, and with uncertainty surrounding how long he will be out, the Nationals wanted to bring in some help. Washington has already seen two of its catchers hit the disabled list this season: Wilson Ramos with a torn right ACL and Sandy Leon with a sprained right ankle.

Carlos Maldonado started behind the plate Monday, and Flores caught the pitchers when they warmed up at the start of innings, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson doesn't want to rush Flores back and have his injury linger.

"I'm not sure I would want to take a chance barring everything else that's happened around here," Johnson said of rushing Flores back.

The postgame move sends Moore, ranked the No. 13 prospect in the Nationals' system by MLB.com, back to the Chiefs. Moore joined the Nationals on April 29 and played sparingly during his stint with the big league club. He hit .158 (3-for-19) in 12 games with Washington.

"I felt bad from the get-go having him in a situation where he's playing out of position and he's a regular player," Johnson said. "He's not a guy that can sit and then come out and play. ... That's not the role you want for a player, a young, talented prospect."

While Moore said the news was a blow, he understood the team's need for depth at backstop and acknowledged the opportunity it gives him to play on an everyday basis with the Chiefs and help further his development.

"Sitting on the bench was good because I got to learn roles and learn how the game went," Moore said. "I'm excited to go down, but at the same time, it's kind of bittersweet."