With about 1/3 of the season in the books, how do you feel about Daniel Murphy at 2B and should he be the starter in 2013?
Their names are hyperlinked to their blogs so please go ahead and click on them to check out their real work.
Mack Ade – President of the Elvin Ramirez fan club
“Daniel Murphy has done everything he can do to become an everyday player in the National League. All that’s left for him is second base and the emergency third base and first baseman. As I write, Wilmer Flores is being converted to a second baseman. Reese Havens and Danny Muno have taken themselves out of the plan. I would play Murphy until Flores is ready.”
Howard Megdal – The black sheep of the Wilpon Family and a man of many hats
“The answer is to be determined. His defense is the work-in-progress we expected. His offense, per OPS+, is 16th of 29 regular second basemen. While that’s not enough to carry his glove, it is also way out of line with his bat prior to 2012, so I expect his offense to improve. I don’t think he’s cemented the position for 2013, but it is never a binary question–with limited resources, who better than Daniel Murphy in 2013? Not clear who that would be.”
Jon Springer – Numerologist and Wordsmith supreme
“When people say Murphy has been “better than expected” at second base what they mean is that he hasn’t been letting balls roll under his glove or playing hops off his face as much as they feared he might. And he hasn’t! But he’s still considerably below average out there, and the balls not gotten to and DPs not turned have been a factor in the Mets’ struggle to prevent runs. In the meantime his bat hasn’t been nearly as productive as it ought to be, so unless he really starts stacking up the extra-base hits in these next two months the decision to replace him at least as a starter next year (with Valdespin, for example) could be an easy one.”
Ed Leyro – One of the original Shea Bridge winos
“I’d be more comfortable with Murphy at second when I see him play an extended amount of time with Tejada, something he hasn’t done much in 2012. That being said, I have no problem with him there in 2013 if he continues to hit around .300 and doesn’t kill us on defense. Tejada’s return should help him.”
Matthew Artus – Started off in this business as Casey Stengel’s bridge partner
“I’m relieved to see Daniel Murphy staying healthy, but his defense at second won’t win him any awards and he’s presently not hitting enough to make up for it. Though he deserves more time to find his power stroke, Murphy’s hardly a lock to start in 2013 if he’s unable to prove himself as, at least, an average second baseman.”
John Coppinger – The only one Omar Minaya hasn’t signed
“Surprised that Murphy hasn’t killed the Mets in the field. Surprised further that he hasn’t been quite the craftsman with the bat we know and love. Whether he should be the starter next season depends on what happens first: his defense goes south or his offense goes north. Up until now he’s been just … normal. Which is good and bad.”
As a big proponent of playing Murphy at second base, I’ve been disappointed with the results so far. I thought he would be a bit better in the field and a lot better at the plate. In my mind, Murphy is too eager to go the other way with the ball, even using an inside-out swing on balls on the inner half of the plate to hit the ball to left field. It’s not a surprise to me with that approach that he doesn’t have a HR.
The lack of HR is annoying and the .067 ISO is a big disappointment. In 2009, Murphy had a .161 ISO.
As for the future, Murphy is still in the driver’s seat to be the team’s 2013 Opening Day starter at 2B. But he’s going to have to hit better over the rest of the season. If he doesn’t, he’ll find himself in a Spring Training battle with Jordany Valdespin for the starting job.
Thanks to Mack, Howard, Jon, Ed, Matt and John for participating. As far as I know they are not really winos or sheep or even bridge players. But go to their blogs to find out for sure.