Thursday, November 17, 2011

Murphy on block and why he should be

Photo by Michael Baron
It's being reported that Dan Murphy is being made available, aside from Pagan I think Murphy should be the most available of the positional players.

The Mets aren't a team that is built for compromised defense, especially up the middle.  They don't have dominant pitching staff or a powerful offense, every error and misstep that costs them a run could impact the out come of a game.  

I think there are many people who are enamored with Murphy's work ethic, which I agree is admirable but I don't think it's a good recipe to put an inexperienced player and a youngster as your middle infield.  In just 24 major league games and 19 minor league games at second base, Murphy as had both his knees injured due to positioning/footwork.  

Another about Murphy, the year he took over for an injured Delgado and was praised for his defense what many missed was the impact his over aggressiveness had on the players around him.  Castillo became gun shy on who was getting balls between them and there were more then a few times first base wasn't covered because the pitcher didn't even consider a 1B going after a ball that far to his right.  

Now even if Murph can remain healthy by getting out of the way, the impact on the staff of his potential miscues could compound the impact twofold.  Pelfrey on the mound the runners goes for second, thole has him but the ball sails into center field as Tejada and Murphy are looking at each other  wonder who should have covered, after which Pelfrey licks his arm and melts down.  

As many others, I like Murphy's work ethic and believe with experience he could learn the position, but that's something to learn in PSL extended spring training with coaches everywhere not at Citi Field.  Also take into account that Jose Reyes didn't flourish until his second baseman was Jose Valentin.  I know Tejada is more mature then Jose was but still I think if he's a cornerstone of this club moving forward then he would benefit from a salty veteran instead in someone else learning the position, I'd take a Bill Hall or Orlando Cabrera for that purpose alone.  

As far as his value, an MCL injury is something that can be played through especially as a DH.  I would target a small market AL team who can't afford a powerhouse offense and would see value in Murphy's .300 BA as a #3 hitting DH and part time jack-of-all-trades.  For example Miguel Cairo after looking washed up flourished with the Yanks and Mariners. 

  In conversations with other teams at the GM Meetings in Milwaukee this week, a source confirmed the Mets informed other teams that Daniel Murphy is "available." source ESPN NY