In order to clear room for the MLB debut of top prospect Trea Turner, the National made a pair of roster moves on Friday. Utility player Tyler Moore was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle and reliever Aaron Barrett was moved to the 60-day DL with a right elbow strain.
Moore, the Nationals revealed on Friday, sprained his ankle after stepping on a baseball in the batting cage at Coors Field on Thursday. Barrett was already recovering from the elbow injury, but will now see another doctor on Monday to determine the next step in his rehab.
Moore could have stayed on the roster, but the Nationals were wary of playing this weekend with a short bench.
"He’s going to be down for a few days," Matt Williams explained. "We just don’t have the luxury to play with three guys on the bench... So we had to make a move today and get Trea here."
Moore, 28, heads to the DL with a .200 batting average, four homers and 22 RBI in 79 games this season.
That was a tough blow for the Nats, but the news on Barrett could be much worse. The right-hander was vague about the third opinion he is about to receive and said he is trying to be optimistic.
"All I can tell you is that my elbow isn't good right now," he said. "Right now I'm just getting all the testing that I can get and seeing the doctors I need to see so that I can make the right decision moving forward. Honestly, that's all I can really tell you right now."
"He’s concerned about it," Williams said. "We’re getting all the [information] that we can possibly get from the doctors to see what the prognosis is."
General manager Mike Rizzo explained further the team's thoughts on Barrett's third opinion:
"We want to make sure that we've got it right. It's a big part of Aaron's career and Aaron's a big part of this ballclub. He's a really good young, controllable bullpen arm and we want to make sure that we get it right. Since there is no time aspect of getting him back here right away, we figured we wanted to go to the best that we can and make the right decision for him that takes care of his long term future and we got to care for the player and make sure we get it right."
Barrett was placed on the DL on Aug. 8, two days after he was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. That followed a blown save by Barrett where he gave up three earned runs in just a 1/3 of an inning against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 5.
Barrett had tossed nine consecutive scoreless appearances before that game, but admitted on Friday he had been pitching through pain in previous outings. He also suggested after that loss that he did not get enough time to warm up before taking the mound.
"Obviously I didn’t communicate [that I was in pain] with the coaching staff. We all have aches and pains that we try to battle through. It’s part of the game. I was just trying to help my team win and do the best that I could," he explained.
Barrett has a 4.60 ERA in 40 total games this season.