Roundtable: How do you feel about Daniel Murphy at 2B?

I reached out to friends in the Mets blogosphere recently to ask the following question:

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.

15 comments for “Roundtable: How do you feel about Daniel Murphy at 2B?

  1. Mack Ade
    June 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

    love the title – there goes what credibility I had left :)

    • June 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

      We’re all members of that club!

      I think he’s going to be fine from here on out. I would like to know what happened to the 98 and above fastballs that I was promised, though.

      • June 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        They’re there; they’re just straight as clothesline. Think 2010 Bobby Parnell…

        • June 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

          The fastest pitch I’ve seen is 96. He seems to sit at 93-94. I think when I went thru the Pitch/FX logs I saw a 97.

          Maybe we’ll see some 98s or 100s in the near future. But I thought he was regularly at 98 and would hit 100. And that hasn’t been the case (yet).

  2. David Groveman
    June 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    @ Mack, I would say that Havens has been given up upon (Though I’ll be angry as heck if he’s let go for nothing). Muno simply got caught cheating and is serving a suspension. Muno could still factor into the future.

    @ Howard, I agree that his offense should make up for his glove if he gets back to his career ways.

    @ Jon, We also can’t forget that Valdespin gives the Mets more speed and still has considerable pop. Murphy still has the edge in terms of contact and discipline.

    @ Ed, Ruben Tejada’s defense should help Murphy, but Omar Quintanilla and Cedeno aren’t exactly butches in the field.

    @ Matthew, The amount of time we give him is the question. I am starting to shift my camp into the trade Murphy for pitching group.

    @ John, I wouldn’t call Murphy normal. Perhaps mortal. He’s got weaknesses. I still like having his bat, but I question if the Mets are better off moving him.

  3. June 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I might leave Murph at 2B — especially if he hits like we all know he can — and possibly look to move Valdespin to an AL team.

    • David Groveman
      June 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      I would do it the other way around

      • June 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        I’m comfortable trading either one, as long as we get a good return. I still wouldn’t trade Murphy for Gwynn Jr. like was mentioned in the offseason.

        • NormE
          June 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

          At this point I’m not sure that trading either Murphy or Valdespin would bring back much in return.
          We must be careful of falling into the common trap of expecting other teams to place high values on guys we would like to trade (dump).

          • June 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

            I think if Valdespin continues to show he can rake, there might be some desparate team in the other league looking for a lefty DH (DET & NYY come to mind). If they have the players Sandy wants in return, I’m sure a package could be put together.

  4. Chris
    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I think Valdespin has AL trade value for sure. We would miss his production, but if it could bring some “relief” then its worth a real look. As for Murph, Im on the fence. I think he could develop into a mid-level big league second baseman. Im not ready to fully judge his performance until the season’s end or if someone-comes-a-callin for the trade deadline. Again, if a trade could bring help to the mound, then its worth talking about. Id be curious to see of there is a correlation between Murph’s errors and an actual game changing outcome. I find little excuse for sloppy play, but it is important to see which miscues lead to a bad outcome. He’s better with RT at short, and his arrival back cant come soon enough.

  5. June 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    In 2009, Daniel Murphy was the team leader in HR (albeit with 12). That was the lowest home run total to lead the Mets in a single season since 1977, when John Stearns, John Milner and Steve Henderson all hit 12 apiece. Three years after John Stearns led the team with 12 HR, he set the team record for most RBI (45) in a season in which he hit no home runs. It’s now three years later for Daniel Murphy as well. He has 25 RBI with nary a homer to speak of. Is it deja vu all over again?

    (No wine was consumed during the thought process that went into the above comment.)

    • NormE
      June 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Too bad!

  6. Metsense
    June 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

    At this time, Murphy is just an average NL second baseman offensively. I see him as the starting second baseman but if he was traded for pitching, then Turner could adequately fill his spot with only a slight drop off. Valdespin will be putting pressure on him in 2013 and the fact Flores has shifted to second doesn’t bode well for Daniel. Disappointed is how I feel and although he is adequate I would look to upgrade the position in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *