According to a report from Anthony DiComo of Mets.com, for the first time this spring, the Mets are considering the realistic possibility that second baseman Daniel Murphy will not be ready for Opening Day.
Murphy has been complaining of stiffness since playing some second base in simulated game for five innings on Friday. He did not swing a bat. Since then, he has been complaining of stiffness and it appears his intercostal injury will keep him off the playing field indefinitely.
He was originally scheduled to participate in Minor League games this past weekend and then join the team in some actual Grapefruit League games at some point this week. Now that plan has been scratched.
“He’s pretty stiff again today,” said Mets head trainer Ray Ramirez on Sunday. The Mets plan to rest Murphy until at least Wednesday according to manager Terry Collins.
DiComo speculates that if Murphy is not ready to play by next weekend, there’s a good chance he will begin the year on the disabled list.
“If he’s not back in a game, we’re down to seven days,” Collins said. “That’s not a lot of time to get somebody that hasn’t done anything all spring ready.”
The backup option would be none other than Jordany Valdespin, who many thought would have no spot on the roster after working his way into Collins’ doghouse. But his hot play this spring changed everything and now guarantees ‘Spin not only a bench spot, but regular playing time somewhere in the lineup.
In 37 at-bats during Grapefruit League play, Valdespin is batting .378/.425/.703/1.128 with a team leading four home runs and eight RBIs.
As I said last week, I don’t really care how brash or how cocky a player is as long as he produces on the field. To me, performance always comes first and all the other stuff is just background noise.
There’s a catalyst-type quality about Valdespin that I love and he has a little bit of Jose Reyes in him. He brings a certain kind of electricity to the lineup when he’s in it and I always get the feeling that something good could happen at any moment when he’s in the game. I don’t get that with many of the other players on this team.