For the first time this season, Tyler Moore looked at the lineup card in the clubhouse and saw his name written with marker in the starting nine. He was surprised because, when first baseman Adam LaRoche is playing everyday, he knows he will rarely see the field. But Manager Davey Johnson had assessed the situation, and coupled with LaRoche’s once-tight back and likely also because the Marlins were starting a left-hander, decided that the little-used Moore should get some at-bats.
Johnson gave LaRoche a heads up that he wanted to sit him for one game via text message earlier on Monday, and the two talk about it at the stadium. Johnson made his case and LaRoche accepted the decision, although perhaps not completely happy to ride the bench. (Who would?) And because of a lingering wrist injury for Danny Espinosa, Johnson was also able to start a lesser-used bench player, Steve Lombardozzi, at second base against the Marlins and go 2 for 5 with an RBI.
The lowly Marlins gave Johnson a chance to attack one of the most difficult tasks he will face all year: finding enough playing time for all 25 players, especially the young bench players who could use the at-bats to continue developing. Johnson’s move, although early only 13 games into the season, paid off with Moore driving in three runs in the 10-3 win.
“He’s good at doing that stuff,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “Obviously, puts [Moore] in there against a lefty and gives Adam the day off. He gives us three or four of those a year. It gives them a chance to stay sharp and get some at-bats and gives us a chance to completely have a day to sorta relax mentally more than anything. Davey is so good that obviously [Moore] comes in and two doubles or whatever. It just always seems like he picks the right time to do something like that.”