8/18/2013 3:08 A.M. ET
Nats shut down Jordan with back strain, recall Moore
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- The Nationals placed right-hander Taylor Jordan on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday.
This will be Moore's third stint with the Nationals this year. During his time in Washington, Moore has experienced some sophomore struggles, batting .151 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 42 games entering Saturday. His swing was out of whack earlier this season, as he often chased balls out of the strike zone.
When he was sent back to the Minor Leagues, Moore worked on the mental side of hitting with batting coach Troy Gingrich.
"Troy told me to slow it down," Moore said. "The ball started slowing down. It felt back to normal."
Moore was able to get consistent at-bats in the Minor Leagues and was one of the hottest hitters for the Chiefs, hitting .318 with 10 home runs, 46 RBIs and a .395 on-base percentage. He recently won the International League Player of the Week by going 8-for-26 (.308) with three home runs and 13 RBIs for the week of July 29-Aug. 4.
"I want to continue what I was doing [in Syracuse]," Moore said. "Earlier in the year, [my swing] was so off, nothing was going on with my swing. Getting those at-bats [in the Minor Leagues] helped me realize it. That's how I made the adjustment. I kept doing it and got back to normal."
Moore could get more playing time than he did during his first two stints with the Nationals. He could start in left field against left-handed pitching, while Bryce Harper plays center field. Harper would return to left against right-handed pitching, while Denard Span would play center field.
"I will try to get him more regular playing time while he is here," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "I have to get him into more games [because of] the lack of success some of our left-handed hitters have against left-handed pitching."
Moore adds power to a bench that has underperformed. Entering Saturday's action against the Braves, Washington's bench was batting .192 with three home runs and eight RBIs. Last year, the Nationals' bench was one of the best in baseball, hitting .288 with four home runs and 26 RBIs.
As for Jordan, he is finished for the season. He was on an innings limit after having Tommy John surgery in 2011. He pitched a combined 142 innings in the Major and Minor Leagues and won 10 games.
Earlier this week, Jordan's back acted up while sitting in a dentist's chair. The injury is not considered serious. He last pitched on Friday in a 3-2 loss against the Braves, allowing two unearned runs in six innings. After the game, Jordan was getting treatment for the back and it was decided that his season was going to come to an end. If the injury didn't occur, Jordan would have had at least two more starts.
"I like his maturity," Johnson said. "He had good poise on the mound. His release times to home plate were really good. His stuff and location really got better since he has been up here. His slider was his third pitch and it became equally as good as his fastball and changeup. He has a great future."
With Jordan out of the rotation, right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will be Washington's fifth starter. He will join the Nationals in Chicago and pitch against the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Ohlendorf is currently on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation.
On Friday, Ohlendorf was on a rehab assignment for Class A Potomac and allowed three runs in four innings.
"He was doing fine after his outing," Johnson said. "His arm felt good, his velocity was fine and he has no re-occurrence of the problem he had before."
Harper scratched, but enters game vs. Braves late
ATLANTA -- At 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, outfielder Bryce Harper was in the starting lineup, hitting leadoff for the Nationals. By 5 p.m., however, Harper was scratched from the lineup because of a left triceps injury, which occurred when he was hit by a Luis Avilan pitch on Friday night.
While in the batting cage Saturday, Harper had a tough time getting his arm loose, so he became a late scratch. Denard Span replaced Harper in the lineup in center field.
Harper entered as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the ninth inning and played the rest of the game in left field, going 0-for-2 in the Nationals' 8-7 win over the Braves in 15 innings.
In the last two series against the Braves, Harper has been hit by pitches three times.
In the first inning Saturday, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg allowed a home run to Jason Heyward and then hit Justin Upton in the backside. Warnings were issued to both teams. Strasburg was then ejected in the second for throwing three consecutive wild pitches, two of which sailed behind Andrelton Simmons.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.