Don’t give up on Murphy

MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.

MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.

Daniel Murphy had one of those games last night, and because of it, the Mets lost another game. It was the second time this season a Murphy fielding blunder directly cost the Mets.

If you’re Jerry Manuel, it’s tempting to sit Murphy tonight, “to clear his head,” as the manager would put it.

That would be a mistake.

The Mets made a sizable commitment to Murphy, and the timing of a benching could send the bad message of a lack of confidence. The bottom line is Murphy had considerable defensive holes in his game that will only close with playing time. The worst thing that could happen is for him to believe his manager lacks confidence in him.

So, what to do?

From the seventh inning on, unless Murphy is tearing it up at the plate, out he comes for defense. It stays that way until he substantially improved.

I’m not saying Murphy will cost the Mets the pennant, but look at it this way, he’s already cost them two games and each of the last two seasons they missed by only one.

And, after the season, he should go to Arizona to work on his defense, both in left field and first base.

16 thoughts on “Don’t give up on Murphy

  1. There are two problems with the suggestion to take Murphy out in the 7th inning.
    1. With the manager’s stubbornness to recognize Castillo should be in the 2 hole, when you take Murphy out you offer Reyes even less chance to steal in a close game. It would be less consequential to take him out if here in the 7 hole
    2. With the way teams are constructed with a 5 man bench, 1 being a catcher and now two being the defensive left fielder, you leave the manager with a three man bench to work with in close games.

    There’s no reason why he can’t become serviceable in left. Left field has been a haven to all hit no defense players. However, if the Met plans are for him to replace Delgado then he needs to go to Buffalo and learn first base so the same thing doesn’t hapen next year. Then the question must be asked, do the Mets have a plan for him?

  2. Oh where oh where has our Endy gone. oh where oh where can he be…

    ==> oh thats right jedi master O-Mar decided he wasnt necessary. I guess catching a series of uncatchable balls doesnt give you a place on the roster.

    But watching a ball roll by first or pop out of an outfielders glove is ok.

    *sigh*

    Maybe we will start like a sheep and end like a lion?!
    Keep the faith!

    Lets Go Mets Go!

  3. I think the plan for Murphy is to put him into the spot where he can give you the least amount of defensive damage. I think what happened to him last night could have happened to anyone. He’s still one of the only guys in the lineup that can work a count. I’m more concerned right now about David Wright. All I see is a guy who is putting so much pressure under himself to succeed in “clutch” situations that if he doesn’t stop pressuring himself, he’ll never get it done. The dude has got to relax.

  4. Steve-O(3)
    about wright – we saw this during his slump the other year. he felt like he had to carry the team. once he shook that off he was back. i think its happening again. He’s this mets team’s Keith or Hojo. I am sure he will break out soon.

  5. I agree, benching Murphy would be a mistake. But, as for lifting him for a defensive replacement in the 7th, it was pointed out by several commentators last night that Reed WOULD have been in left for his defense IF Beltran had just slid into the plate and scored. So that strategy apparently is in place, but it doesn’t come into play unless everybody on the team is doing their job.

    And both Steves are right about Wright. The question is, why does this keep happening? Is he a serious head case? Does he need psychological counseling? If he keeps falling into this trap of feeling like he needs to carry the team and putting so much pressure on himself that he can’t perform, something is seriously wrong. Is it with the team, or with him?

  6. David is struggling in all at-bats right now, not just RISP situations. It’s not a “pressure” thing. He is just not right at the plate. Looks to me like he is not picking the ball up correctly.

    Endy Chavez has proven time and again that he cannot sustain a high avg when he played regularly. I know, he’s off to a hot start, but take a look at his past numbers. He gets a chance to play every day, is hot for a week or two, then falls apart. Plus, he has very little in the way of power.

    Murphy has more power than Endy, but still not enough to play the OF every day. Or first base.
    The kid has trade bait written all over him.
    Hopefully he will be traded for more than a “defense oriented” catcher (who actually stinks at defense).

  7. I do find it interesting that John is not in favor of benching Murphy after his miscue last night, but has in the past called for the benching of other young players when they make mistakes.

  8. (6) Agree Ed @ Wright. Every slump doesn’t mean pressing. The man has shown that he is prone to pretty long slumps an pretty long hot as hell streaks. Also agree about Endy.

  9. As for benching etc. I think the term is platooning. Jerry as already decided that the corners are to be platooned because of Sheffield.

    Endy: I will take his glove along with his average hitting any day.

  10. Not sure I understand the logic about Wright. It’s not that he’s pressing, it’s that he’s not picking up the ball correctly, or having some other problem with mechanics, or just is prone to long slumps? Sounds to me like mechanical problems should be correctable — UNLESS there’s some “head” reason why he keeps falling into them and can’t seem to get himself out of them.

  11. SteveC – Jerry said Church and Murphy are the starters. There is no platoon.

    in re Endy – Reed has a pretty good glove as well. Not Endy good, but good.
    And if the return for Endy is JJ Putz, I make that trade every time. (yes of course there were more pieces)

  12. Keep playing Murphy in left. I’m used to lousy left fielders since the days of Frank Thomas (if you know the “yo la tengo” story). Kevin McReynolds is the only one worth a darn and he thought duck hunting was a great as playing in the World Series.

    Which reminds me. Looking up the Mets Hall of Fame, no one has been inducted since Tommie Agee in 2002. Did the Wilpons stop doing that since they got 100% control or have the Mets run out of people to induct.?

    You know who I got to be thinking of last night who came up clutch in a big spot that is under-appreciated today? Ron Taylor in game 2 of the 1969 World Series. Mets lose game one. They go in front 2-1 in game two when after two outs in the 9th, they get three straight singles (Clutch hits!). Koosman gets the first two outs but then walks two batters. Taylor comes in and gets Brooks Robinson to ground out to third (Ed Charles wanted to touch third but since Frank Robinson was running hard, he got the out at first). I don’t know if we can say the Mets would have lost the series if Taylor blows the game (or if Hodges doesn’t remove Koosman). They came from 9.5 back to win the NL East by 8. So to Dr Ron Taylor (got his MD after he retired and became physician to the Blue Jays), here’s to you!

  13. I’m torn on what to do with Murphy. I understand that you need to keep putting him out there to learn and grow in the position and not “mess with his head.” But if he commits another blunder his head is already going to be messed with.

    I think the best course of action is to sit him Thursday afternoon and then throw him out there Friday and Sat then sit him again sunday. Do a mini-platoon for awhile until this team figures out how to win consistently. He’s not the only one on the team who needs to have his head screwed on straight… this whole team is a mess right now.

  14. Honestly, I like Murphy. I think he will grow into the position.

    As for the hall of fame. there are so many more mets that should go into it.

    Ed(11) – Jerry says. love my good n plenty ;-)

    Don’t get me wrong I like Manuel, He’s no davey johnson, But i am wondering just what he has in store because what he says ahd what he actually does, has not been the same thing.

    At this point if the mets dont get their act together i wonder what would happen if we got valentine to manage. :-)

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