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Daniel Murphy to the Outfield?
Posted By Jim Mancari On Aug 10 2011 @ 11:39 pm In New York Mets | No Comments
In lieu of Daniel Murphy’s second injury at second base in less than a year and half, Mets GM Sandy Alderson addressed the media about a possible position change for Murph.
Alderson realizes Murphy’s hitting potential—as evidenced by his .320 batting average, which ranks him fifth in NL—and said that the team would like to find a spot for him in the batting order everyday.
However, not having a set position has hindered Murph’s development as a complete player.
He was originally brought up as an outfielder in late 2008, but he struggled defensively with the glove mainly in early 2009.
He has been able to spend the majority of his time in the big leagues where he is most comfortable—the corner infield positions—since the Mets always have at least one of their corner infielders hurt.
But looking towards next year, the Mets are expected to have a healthy Ike Davis manning first base and of course David Wright at third base. Where does this leave Murphy?
Though he would need a ton of work at second base, Murphy and Justin Turner could form a serviceable platoon. Both may benefit from having regular off days to keep them fresh, and the bench would have a little punch to it.
However, Murphy has shown he can be an everyday player based on his bat. He hits lefties well enough so that he can handle 600+ at-bats per season.
So the question of “Can Murphy play the outfield?” will likely be thrown around this offseason. Unless the Mets can swing a trade, Jason Bay and Angel Pagan will be playing left and center field, respectively.
That leaves right field semi-opened for Murphy.
Not only does Murph not have the arm strength to play right, but it’s highly unlikely that he has the range to cover the cavernous right field at Citi Field. Lucas Duda may not have that range either, but the Mets appear content with giving him a shot—at least this season.
There’s nothing wrong with having a super-utility player like Murphy who can play multiple positions. Though he’s not a Gold Glover by any means, if the guy can show he can hit, he’s still a valuable asset to this team.
Outfield may not be the best choice, but if there are no other options, at least it would be a way to keep Murph’s bat in the lineup consistently.
It’s unfortunate that he will miss the rest of this season after being injured in a similar fashion to early 2010. But the Mets will look forward to having him fully healthy next year—wherever he will be playing defensively.
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