After a torrid start to the season, second baseman Daniel Murphy, who occasionally moonlights at first base as well, is mired in one of his longest funks of the season and perhaps his career.
With the ongoing exploits of Marlon Byrd and David Wright, and the resurgence of newly acquired Eric Young Jr., Murphy’s slump is getting little airplay. I charted his month-by-month numbers and it’s not looking very pretty for Murph.
Murphy has been falling behind in counts a lot lately, which is never a good thing for him as he’s batting .198 with a .454 OPS in those situations.
Despite him still batting high in the order, the Mets have been able to overcome his month-long slump mostly due to some of the other hitters around him stepping up and getting hot in June.
Hopefully this is just a blip on the radar. I looked back at his 2012 splits and saw he experienced a similar slump that June as well, batting .240 after posting .303 and .298 averages in April and May.
Murphy has become one of the more likable players on the team, and his intensity and hard-nosed style of play has made him a fan favorite.
But with 21-year old Wilmer Flores tearing apart the Pacific Coast League with a .310/.349/.503 slash and still playing second base everyday for Triple-A Las Vegas. sooner or later you have to ask yourself who is the real second baseman of the future? Long term or short term…
Sandy Alderson made it clear that Flores will be up soon and one fan on Twitter asked me how soon… My reply was that there is no chance that Flores will be called up unless the Mets create an everyday spot in the lineup for him.
That Sandy also said he had no problem with Flores as a second baseman says a lot. He pointed out his solid glove and ability to turn a doubleplay, while adding something we’ve all heard before when Murphy was first given a second baseman’s glove, “I don’t consider second base a defensive position.”
Flores’ range is limited, but so is Murphy’s. Either way, Alderson referred to both of them as passable, and his is the only decision that really matters.
So if Flores will be in Flushing soon, where will he play and where does Daniel Murphy fit in?
Assuming Ike Davis reclaims his position at first base, there seems to be a problem with the numbers here. Somebody could be on the move at the trade deadline. But who?