Out of Left Field with Tyler Moore

Photo courtesy Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post

Photo courtesy Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Tyler Moore one week after the former Senator made his Major League debut against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. We spoke with him the day after the Nationals defeated the Phillies 4-3 with a walk-off single by Wilson Ramos in the 11th inning in the first game of their Take Back the Park weekend.

When did you find out you were getting the call? Take me through that whole process.

Tyler Moore: Man, it was crazy. Tony Beasley called me about 12:30 at night and said, “Hey, T-Mo, you’re going up. Congratulations! But you need to pack all of your stuff because you’re making a flight at 6 AM to California.” So, I pack up all of my stuff and I have to meet a cab driver at 4 am at the Chiefs’ field. I don’t get done packing until around 3, so I don’t even attempt to go to sleep. Get to the airport and I can’t sleep on the plane because I really don’t like to fly. Finally, I get to California without any sleep that night and I text Lombo to make sure I’m not in the lineup. I’m probably not playing but just check because I’m not be there for the first pitch. I show up and I got about 30 minutes until the game starts. Right when I walked out of the dugout they said, “Hey you’re probably starting in left.” And I said, “You got to be kidding me.” I was very happy to start but at the same time nerve-racked. I was able to actually hit a couple of rounds of BP, play the game, and after I caught one flyball out in left I was fine. It was just an unbelievable experience. The crowd there was great. A bunch of history in that stadium and I’m just blessed to be a part of that.

Did you have enough time to get any family out there?

TM: No, I barely had time to fill them in that I was even playing. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m glad they just kind of threw me out there, so I didn’t have really any time to think about it.

Any different than the same baseball you’ve played since you were eight years old?

TM: Same baseball. Just a lot, a lot more people. As you saw last night, it was a packed house like 40,000 and it was great. It just makes the excitment a little more. 

Talk a little bit about Beas and Troy (Gingrich) being at Syracuse this year and how it helped you getting continuous guidance with those guys as you moved up to that level.

TM: Oh yeah, it helped. I think me and Harp and couple of more guys came from Double-A to there. It just helps the adjustment process go a lot easier. I know what Troy is going to do and he probably knows my swing better than I do. You couldn’t ask for two better people on the coaching staff and I get to work with them everyday and it was great. That’s something that I’ll never forget.

If eyes weren’t already opened, you did that in spring training and that’s probably why you got the call now. What was that experience like to prove to yourself that you belonged?

TM: It was great. It was my first time to be around big leaguers everyday and getting the gist of everything that was going to happen and that needs to happen. It was great for me to see that everyday, day in and day out. It was great exposure and I was fortunate enough to play in some games before getting sent back down to Triple-A.

You mentioned earlier about playing left field and you had three games out there under your belt in Syracuse before you got the call in Washington. Talk about the work that Bo (Porter) and Tony (Tarasco) have done with you in terms of your transition.

TM: They’ve been great. They’ve been very patient with me. I probably ask them all kinds of questions all of the time. They’ve been unbelievable to me. I get more comfortable every time I get out there and I’m not going to make the unbelievable Sportscenter play but I’ll try to make the routine. Just knowing where to go with the ball and knowing lefty slices coming off the bat to get a better read instead of just jumping towards the ball…that’s what I’m leaning towards getting better at.

What about this core group that is here now? For the most part it’s all guys that have come up through the minors…Desmond, Espinosa, Lombo, Harper. This is a team that has kind of grown up together.

TM: Our minor league system I would put it up against anyone else. They draft good and once they get drafted they teach them everything. The guys down there are unbelievable as people and as coaches. It’s just fun to be a part of. It’s fun to be a Nat right now. You can just tell that this city is starting to turn it on.

Thanks to Tyler for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us and to Terry Byrom and John Dever for arranging the interview.

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