Hits & Misses: Murphy’s Future Role, When Defense Matters Most, Capping Innings Is A Good Thing
Someone asked me today if we should just go ahead and send Daniel Murphy to the bench in a super utility type role. “Of course”. I responded. Looking at how far his defense has been regressing and how inconsistent his bat has been, it’s no big secret how this movie is going to end. Once Wilmer Flores gets this so called shot at second base, and if he can prove to be adequate, that will be the game plan going into 2014.
Here’s the thing thing about defense, the better you hit, the less it matters. Murphy’s back to having a bullseye on his head because his defense led to the Mets loss last night. With the Mets up 2-0 in the sixth and Jenrry Mejia cruising, Murphy mishandled a grounder by Carl Crawford that was scored a hit. Mark Ellis, the next batter, lined a ball that deflected off of Murphy’s outstretched glove and dropped into right field. The rest as they say, was history.
Since early June, that’s who it’s gone for Murphy only this time he’s batting .274 with an OBP dangerously close to falling under .300. All of a sudden, defense matters. I like Murphy and there are times when he can have a two week stretch where he’s the best hitter on the team. But there have been fewer of those moments this season compared to last.
Wilmer Flores only serves to complicate matters for him. Everyone wants to see what he can do at second base and Murphy know’s it. It’s the one question the Mets need to settle before this season runs out of games – can Wilmer Flores handle second base adequately enough for us to move forward in that direction?
They will never know for sure until they try, and try they will, and try they must. If he can’t hack it, then the attention shifts to Ike Davis and first base. But that’s a post for another day.
Did you hear the latest on the Mets shortstop situation? The Mets are sticking with Q… Oh wait, I already covered that two days ago and nothing’s changed.
Lets talk about innings limits instead…. But first let me ask you a few questions…
1. Do you like Matt Harvey and hope he’ll have a long a prosperous career with the Mets?
2. Do you feel the same way about Zack Wheeler and are you excited to see him dominate hitters for years to come?
3. Finally, what about Noah Syndergaard? Are you drooling as you wait for him to begin his Mets career in 2014?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then you should be heavily in favor of innings limits. You see my friends, the whole purpose of them is to keep a young pitcher as healthy as possible without overloading them to the point of SNAP – OUCH MY &%$#ING ELBOW…
So with that in mind, the Mets will do the right thing and limit Matt Harvey to about 200 innings pitched. Given the fact he’s at 159.2 innings pitched already, expect another 40 innings or about seven six inning starts.
You can expect about another seven starts from Wheeler too, but perhaps with a stricter pitch limit. And Syndergaard has already been ramped down and is not allowed to pitch more than five innings even if he’s pitching a two-hit shutout as he has in last two starts.
So you see, folks… All is going according to plan…
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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