Daniel Murphy has been out of sight, but certainly not out of mind for many of us who were captivated by his hard-nosed play, determination and his winning attitude.
These days, Murphy continues his journey on the comeback trail and he now toils away in the Dominican Republic, whee he hopes to learn a fourth position to add to his resume, this time it’s second base.
Murphy, 25, is playing winter ball with the Dominican Aguilas team, and in addition to wielding a hot bat, the word is he’s grasping the fundies of second base and playing the position with no problems at all. The Daily News spoke to Murph about the transition to which he replied,
“It’s going well. I’m enjoying my time down here. Just trying to get more comfortable, get back into the groove of playing, and get back to being healthy.”
Murphy actually started logging time at second base in Buffalo while on a minor league rehab, but the experiment ended when an opposing player wiped him out on a hard slide into his right knee tearing his right medial collateral ligament. His season and his 2010 comeback was over.
But it’s hard to keep this kid down, and it must be that fightin’ Irish spirit.
Last night, Murphy had another big game for Aguilas smacking his third homerun of the season and driving in three. He raised his average to .298 and in 23 games and 84 at-bats, Murphy has 17 RBI’s and 41 total bases to give him an impressive .488 slugging percentage. He has as many walks (9) as strikeouts, something that I always like to see, and it gives him an on-base percentage of .358. Small sample size, I know, I know, but after what he’s been through, it’s remarkable nonetheless.
Murphy will most likely compete with Luis Castillo, Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada for the second base job (or at least part of the job) in spring training, and I really like his chances.
Some people may have forgotten that back in 2009, Daniel Murphy led the Mets with 12 home runs, but even more impressive than that were his 38 doubles, just one behind David Wright for the team lead. This guy has some serious pop in his bat, and if he can execute this transition to second base, the Mets may have found themselves yet another diamond in the rough.
Hey, the Braves just bank-rolled $10 million on Dan Uggla who plays second base like he’s wearing cement shoes, so who can argue with a better fielding player in Murphy who can give you over 50 extra-base hits a season to boot.
If he can pull it off and give us that kind of offense from second base, hell it would be like the Mets winning the Irish Sweepstakes.
Sorry for my own lack of posts lately, I haven’t been feeling so hot.