Two years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be typing the first six words of this post, but it’s true. Daniel Murphy has proven himself as a formidable second baseman in 2013, and jerking him around the diamond is not going to do him or the Mets any favors.
The 28-year old Jacksonville-native has had a remarkable year on both sides of the diamond this season, most impressively in the progression of his fielding. Coming off a season in which he was an eye sore at second in 2012 and looked very inexperienced, Murphy has busted out this season to emerge as one of the better defensive second baseman in the National League. Murphy has had improved range, better footwork and has just looked more like a middle infielder, not to mention he leads all NL second baseman with 42 double plays turned.
There is no doubt that Murphy’s advancements at second are a direct result of his getting consistent time there to learn the ins and outs of the position. When I spoke with Murphy last month, he confirmed this.
“Having more time there has made me become more consistent, more comfortable, and has given me a better understanding of how to position myself and how much time I have,” said Murphy.
Now that he is finally settled into his new home on the diamond, Terry Collins has opted to throw a monkey wrench into that plan and send Murphy over to first with the demotion of Ike Davis and stick Jordany Valdespin at second when facing right-handed pitching.
I understand wanting to get the best righty/lefty matchups and I especially would like to see Valdespin get some consistent at-bats, but not only is it not fair to Murphy to unroot him from the position he has taken the better part of three season to learn, but it also isn’t right to have Josh Satin ride the pine until a southpaw comes along after he has worked so hard all year in Triple-A Las Vegas.
They cannot do to Satin what they did to Lagares and have him rot in the dugout. They called him up, he should be getting regular at-bats.
I get that Collins wants to get a good look at what their young guys can do now that the white flag has been all but waved, however Murphy is presumably the Mets second baseman of the future, not Valdespin. Valdespin’s future in orange and blue is in the outfield.
Murphy along with David Wright have been the primary offensive producers this year in 2013, and disrupting Murph’s defensive groove could potentially also affect his bat, which the Mets cannot afford to happen if they have any hope of finishing above the Marlins.
The Mets have spent three years making Daniel Murphy a second baseman, now keep him there.