Daniel Murphy: Spark plug

Well it’s suddenly February and that big football game is only a few days away. And you know what my favorite part of the Super Bowl is? No, the thought of seeing Tom Brady miserable, or seeing what kind of weird/creepy/funny commercial ETrade has in store for us. No, it’s more of the fact that as soon as the game is over, it’s baseball time.

Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Port St. Lucie on February 20th and the Mets first Spring Training game is March 5th vs. the Washington Nationals. Now, many Mets fans aren’t too excited for the season to start, but I am. Sure it’s a different looking team without Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, but there’s a lot to be excited about going into the season. I’m not going to get into that right now however, I’ll save that topic for another week. The one guy who seems to be more excited than most for the 2012 season is Daniel Murphy.

After his terrible injury in 2011, Murphy has a new fire and seems to be on a mission to master second base. He knows that he isn’t the best second baseman in the world so he’s had to work extra hard this off-season, not only coming back from a major knee injury but to get more comfortable with the position. He’s already putting together a plan with third base coach Tim Teufel about how to improve his skills at second base.
Last night at the Thurman Munson Award Dinner Murphy said he expects the Mets to make the playoffs this season. Obviously there was an open bar at this dinner, but nevertheless it’s showing what kind of player Murphy will be this year. The Mets are a team of many young players with uncertainty around the veterans on the. From this, Murphy is beginning to come out as one of the leaders of this team.

Murphy always seems to have his energy about him. He might not be the most gifted player out there on the field, but he’s to work harder and harder to become better every day. So not only is Murphy one of the more valuable hitters in the line-up, he’s setting an example of how hard everyone else on this team should be willing to work and the level of expectations they have for their level of play.

It appears now with Reyes gone, that Murphy is going to be that spark plug for the Mets. No one is going to be able to replace Reyes’ numbers on the field and the excitement that he would bring to the ballpark. But someone is going to have to replace that spark that gets the team going, and right now that player looks like Daniel Murphy.

He certainly has the ability to be that player with his leadership and good hitting, he just needs to pass his attitude onto the other players on the field. It seems he’s taken on a more vocal role in the clubhouse, now he just needs to bring the excitement onto the field and get everyone else going, much like how Reyes did. Hopefully he is ready and able to take on this role because I know he is the type of player who is capable of doing it.

11 comments for “Daniel Murphy: Spark plug

  1. February 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    That’s an interesting concept. He’s definitely not the same type of catalyst Reyes is, nor will he ever be in the same league of player. But Murphy is a beast who doesn’t take no for an answer.

    While I’m hardly as optimistic as you about this season, I have always loved watching Murphy. Cross your fingers he’s something worth watching on a crappy team.

  2. Metsense
    February 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    The average NL second baseman batted .319/.380/.698 and Murphy was .362/.448/.809. That would give him the highest ops among second baseman. If he can play near enough to average defense, then the Mets could have a future all star. No one expects the Mets to do anything this year, so it is a good time to allow Murphy to develop defensively and hopefully his hard work will pay off.

    • Brandon Lee
      February 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

      I think the Mets will give him all the time in the world at second, it’s just if he can play there without killing himself. Yes, his injuries while playing second have been bad luck, but someone who actually knows how to play the second would have positioned themselves better around the bag and could have avoided the injury.

  3. February 2, 2012 at 12:06 am

    hey wilpons this kid has heart and fire in his belly and can flat out hit and he is a team player the mets need a 100 more murphys on the team.

    • Brandon Lee
      February 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Well I think right now everyone in the starting line-up plays hard. Even Reyes was excused of not hustling all time. I can’t name anyone in this starting line-up who doesn’t play their heart out. That’s one of the reasons I really like this team.

  4. John Tornone
    February 2, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Daniel Murphy always seemed to do what the Mets asked of him without arguing about it, at least not visibly. He’s an underrated player and can have a good impact on this team. The Mets made the right decision about not signing Reyes to a 6 year deal. That’s way too long for him. I think its about time the Mets get away from the way Reyes goes the Mets go. That was a bad way to play the game. I’m actually looking forward to what our players can do this year and the coming years.

    • Brandon Lee
      February 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

      I don’t know, I was kind of fine with having Reyes lead this team. I think Ruben Tejada is a great replacement and will surprise a lot of people this year, but there is no way anyone in baseball could replace what Reyes brings to a team (at least when he is healthy).

      • Metsense
        February 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        And Tejada at just 21, is already better than the average ss in the NL. Steady ss are hard to come by and the Mets may have one for many years to come. Brian had a great article on comparing Tejada and his age to former major leaguers. Patrick Flood also had a recent article on this theme also. Reuben has his whole career ahead of him and he appears to be smart enough and mature enough to seize the moment.

    March 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    With a guy like Murphy, I actually have hope….THIS YEAR. Its nice to see a player on the team that wants to win more than I want him to win.

    • Brandon Lee
      March 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Yeah, he is a great guy to have on this team. I just love the respect he has for the game and his passion for hitting.

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