Daniel Murphy‘s six-year major league career has seen him play all over the diamond.
A natural third baseman, Murphy has seen time in leftfield, third, and first before finally finding a home at second base.
With uncertainty to his left at first base, there has been speculation throughout the winter of potentially sliding Murphy over to first and placing someone such as Eric Young Jr. at second, at least on occasion for flexibility purposes.
When speaking to reporters Tuesday at Citi Field, Murphy appeared more than willing to move back to the first-base bag, saying it would only take some time down in Port St. Lucie to get used to the position again.
“I think I can do it,” said Murphy, responding to Ed Marcus of MMO who asked about how comfortable he would be if asked to move over to first again.
“If I get asked to move over there, that’s not a problem at all, I think it would take some reps, and that’s what Spring Traning is for, if that’s decision is made for me to do. I’ve had some experience over there, I think I’ve had probably 100 ballgames over there give or take, so it would take a while to adjust, so at least they would be giving me a bigger glove.”
However following up, I asked Murphy what his preference would be between first and second. After being jostled from position to position for his entire big league career, he says he feels most comfortable at second.
“I enjoy playing second,” said Murphy. “I’ve been bouncing around so much that I don’t really have a whole bunch of games at one spot but second’s finally taken the lead now, around game 300 or so. I like it because you’re able to learn from past experiences, whether they would be mistakes or good plays, and so when something happens it’s not quite as new each time, that’s what I enjoy. It’s not so much, ‘okay I want to stay here because I just don’t want to move’ but you feel like you’re just more comfortable in the position. So that’s what I enjoy.”
Murphy said he did not mind being shifted around when he was trying to find a place on the Mets roster as he said it kept him in the big leagues.
“This is the big leagues; you stick me wherever you want,” said Murphy. “You know, I’d rather be here in the big leagues and feel a little uncomfortable than feel completely comfortable in Triple-A or the minors so if they’re going to give you a job in the big leagues you don’t ask questions, you just take it and try to see if you can figure it out.”
As for the listed reserve second baseman Eric Young Jr., Murphy says he has been amazed at how the natural outfielder was able to step in and play second without skipping a beat.
“I got to see him play in Chicago and in the Arizona Fall League, but he flipped a double play in Chicago against the White Sox, that was sweet,” said Murphy when I asked about Young at second.
“I remember from the bench—I think I had the day-off that day, or I got yanked, one or the other—but he got a low throw I think from the third baseman, and he took it and just turned that thing over easy and it was impressive, not because you couldn’t think he could do it but he hadn’t been there, like all year, and he wasn’t really taking a whole whole bunch of ground balls there. He’d get some work there and turned some double plays, but to just go out there in the best league on earth flip a double play with a guy bearing down on you, that’s what I would say is impressive.”
As for the other uncertain position of the infield, don’t expect Murphy to try to make another positional change.
“I don’t think I could play short,” said Murphy with a big laugh. “I would like to play there, but I don’t think it would be in the best interest of our ballclub.”