WASHINGTON -- This past offseason, Triple-A Syracuse first baseman Tyler Moore spent four days in Houston with Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter on the fundamentals of playing left and right field.
Porter came away impressed with how Moore was able to play the corner outfield spots. Moore has a good arm, sure hands and takes good routes. He worked a lot with Porter on getting back on the ball.
"Like I explained to him, the more comfortable you get going back on the ball, it will help him with his positioning," Porter said. "It means you are not afraid to play people a little bit shallow based on a hitter. If you have confidence and the ball stays in the ballpark, you can go back."
The work in the outfield didn't end in Houston, according to Porter. Moore spent a lot of time working on his outfield skills in Spring Training.
"Most of the stuff that we did with him was kind of away from everything that was going on," Porter said. "He did a lot of live shagging out there and getting balls off the bat."
Starting this week, the Nationals currently have Moore splitting time between first base and left field for Syracuse. Moore has played two games in left field without making an error.
"He is an athletic kid anyway, so [I expected it to be] a good transition," Porter said. "I explained to him, I've been down that road before with Josh Willingham and Chris Coghlan [with the Marlins]. I told Tyler, this is going to improve his value across the board.
"I think he is a heads-up baseball player. He understands the game. He is a guy that wants to learn. He is a hard worker. He has all the attributes that you are looking for when a guy gets ready to change positions -- the extra work that he has to put in, he is more than capable and has the energy to do it."
Moore is off to a good start for Syracuse, hitting .293 with six home runs and 16 RBIs entering Saturday's action. In the previous two years, Moore has hit a combined 60 home runs with 201 RBIs for Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
"Just look at his numbers. The guy has hit everywhere he has been," Porter said. "It's an offensive bat that, given the situation with Mikey Mo [Michael Morse], it's a luxury for the organization to have a guy of his caliber in Triple-A that has flexibility who can play first base and the corner outfield positions."
Asked recently if he could see Moore playing left field if Morse is unable to come back from his torn right lat injury, general manager Mike Rizzo said, "That's too many ifs for me. We feel Morse is going to come back. All along, we felt Moore has the capability of playing in the big leagues and impacting a team in the big leagues."
Morse has been shut down for six weeks because of the lat injury. The team is hoping that rest can heal the injury. If rest doesn't work, Morse could have surgery and possibly be out for the year.
Wang in line for extended spring game Monday
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who is on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring, is expected to pitch in an extended spring game on Monday, when he likely will throw 35 pitches.
Wang is expected to be activated from the disabled list sometime in May. It will be interesting to see if Wang will go into the rotation or work out of the bullpen. It would be difficult to take Ross Detwiler out, because he has a 0.56 ERA, which ranks second in the National League.
"I don't want to think about it," manager Davey Johnson said Friday night. "I like what I'm seeing. [Detwiler] has been outstanding."
Detwiler is leaving it up to the Nationals to determine who stays in the rotation.
"[The Nationals] have been doing this for a long time. They know what's best for the team, and that's what it comes down to," Detwiler said. "We are playing great right now."
Nationals introduce 15 millionth fan
WASHINGTON -- During Saturday's game against the Marlins, the Nationals introduced the 15 millionth fan in franchise history at Nationals Park. Sarah McCarty from Fairfax, Va., was designated as the 15 millionth fan to attend a Nationals game in Washington since the franchise relocated from Montreal in 2005.
"I was shocked," said McCarty, who has been a Nationals fan from the team's inception. "I didn't even know that they did that, but it's very exciting. It's my husband's birthday. He is very happy."
McCarty was presented with a Jayson Werth autographed jersey during an in-game presentation shown on the NatsHD scoreboard. McCarty will also receive four Lexus Presidents Club tickets along with parking passes and field passes to watch batting practice at an upcoming Nationals home game.
"We are honored to welcome Sarah as the 15 millionth fan to attend a Nationals game since baseball returned to D.C.," said Andrew Feffer, the Nationals' chief operating officer. "We appreciate every fan who comes through our gates at Nationals Park, and look forward to reaching many more milestones as our fan base continues to grow."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.