March 24.10: It’s Murphy’s time.

You can read a couple of things into the Ike Davis demotion relating to Daniel Murphy.

One, there’s talk-show speculation Murphy was pressured by Davis’ presence and the possibility of him losing the position. Second, that the Mets still have faith in Murphy.

It’s the latter.

Jerry Manuel said Murphy is his first baseman, and it actually looks like that’s going to happen. For how long is another question.

With Murphy hitting below the Mendoza line this spring, and him not having much power to begin with, first base could be a black hole offensively for the team.
Murphy, at this stage of his career, is not a power hitter, but that’s not to say he can’t develop more power.

All along we’ve heard how the Mets rush some players and don’t have patience with others. Murphy has gone through a lot, enough to earn the Mets’ patience for now.

With David Wright ahead of him, Murphy, a natural third baseman was moved to another black hole, left field, at the end of the 2008 season.
He showed enough to where he was the starting left fielder last season, but it didn’t take. The Mets once considered him as a possible second baseman, but saddled with Luis Castillo’s contract, that didn’t work either.

So, it was on to first base a couple of months into last year, where Murphy played surprisingly well considering. The only problem is he doesn’t hit for the prototypical power of a first baseman.

But, he’s only 24 with one full season on his resume. But, after he settled in at first, he become more comfortable at the plate, made some adjustments, and hit .282. He also hit 38 doubles, which is an indication of some pop, and led the team with 12 homers.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll develop into a .300 hitter and hit 20 to 25 homers. It could happen.

But, if the season hinges on Murphy hitting for power, then the Mets are in big trouble anyway. Theoretically, they’ll get power from Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur. All should hit close to 30 homers.

If Murphy doesn’t, then so what?

Let’s take a look at this team. There are questions in the bullpen and the rotation has been horrid this spring. The Mets need a bounce-back year from Wright, and Beltran, and possibly Jose Reyes will open the season on the disabled list.

So, Murphy not hitting more than 20 homers seems to be low on the priority list.

12 thoughts on “March 24.10: It’s Murphy’s time.

  1. You have always been a supporter of murph.

    i do not think he fits in their plans except as a utility guy.

    i think Ike will be up this year to claim his position, and murph does not own any position.

    in the minors i think he was tried at a number of positions none of which he was a gold glove. for whatever reason he is not hitting, which is his strong suit.

    i think murph gets packaged in a trade at some point.

    i hear gary mathews may be traded soon.

  2. dave: I don’t disagree on any point. I just think too much is expected of him. He’s been a team player and deserves a shot. Who knows? He might surprise. If nothing else, he could play well enough to bring something in a trade.-JD

  3. Ike Davis was a nice story but was never going to be the starting first baseman on opening day.
    Two major points that seem to be missed were that Davis still has not shown he is able to hit lefties in the minors and the fact he is not on the 40 man roster.

    Davis is the first baseman of the future and the future may be as early as Memorial Day but the Mets have other options right now.

    If it were my choice I would send Murphy down to the minors and start the season with a platoon of Jacobs and Tatis with Carter on the bench.

    Murphy is not a proven veteran who deserves to be given a mulligan for a bad spring training.
    Send him to the minors until he starts hitting.

  4. Well Pelham, your post makes people realize that there could be GMs a lot worse than Omar. Jacobs/Tatis/Carter. thank you Omar for not quitting!

    Delcos: You write like you are taking the lying mouth of Manuel at his word. It was just one little spring ago when Jerry stated clearly that Murphy was his left fielder. Now he says clearly Murphy is my first baseman. Quoting him without commenting about how useless his word is, is very poor.

  5. I prefer a first baseman that can field. The outfielders were always supposed to be the sluggers. I want to see someone that wont let the ball dribble by 1st playing that plate.
    His numbers arent great but they arent Ordonez sucky.
    Listen with some of the supposed bats we now have. if we can keep the ball in the park and fielded well this team could make things happen.
    However, between M&M never knowing what they want or how to manage, shining star might as well be a loadstone at the northpole.

  6. Harry: I know. But sending Davis down indicates to me he’s going to keep his word this time. But, Manuel never said the job was Murphy’s forever. If Murphy isn’t hitting and is Scott’s point about Davis not hitting lefties in the minors changes, he can always change his mind. That’s what baseball managers and politicians do.-JD

  7. hey JD: recap of sports night. Kevin Burkheart (sic) said davis was sent down. but they left the door open to bring him up later in the season if needed. so right there Manuel left himself an out when he taps Murphy and says there ya go. Also They have Jacobs that could play first. According to Kevin B.
    so.. can we really believe M&M or is this all just a slight of hand once again.
    dave was right.. Call him Sybill.

  8. I don’t think Murphy is going to make it the entire year at 1b. I can easily see if Davis does well the first few months and Murphy struggles that you will see Ike here by June 1st. Meanwhile if Murphy struggles and more importantly the team struggles, he’ll get less and less playing time. I would like to see Carter get a shot.

  9. Ike and Mejia will both get significant playing time before Memorial Day, at which time they’ll be part of a package going to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez, who, true to form, will hit .220 in his first two months in blue and orange before tearing an abdominal muscle, from which he will never fully recover. If there’s a bright spot in this story it’s that Gonzalez will prove to be an engaging personality, which will lead him to a post-career gig as a spokesperson for Just for Men. Davis and Mejia, meanwhile, will enjoy long, productive careers. Moral of the story: Keep Murphy around.

  10. I am still all for sticking with Murphy for a couple of months this year. If he is hitting 260 with no power and bungling 1b then we can move on, but I still think it is possible for him to get more 290 and add some walks to make him a more valuable player.