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Daniel Murphy, Second Baseman

Posted By Howard Megdal On April 25, 2012 @ 11:13 am In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

I think every time I hear someone, on WFAN, on Twitter, or just out on the street, want to move Daniel Murphy from second base, a small part of me dies.

This may sound extreme. But hear me out. The Murphy experiment is going as well as anyone could possibly hope.

One-tenth of the way through the season, Daniel Murphy has 17 games at second base. So part one, could he stay healthy at the position, has been a roaring success.

Part two, could he field the position, has largely been successful as well. Fangraphs has him at around -7.7 runs over a full season, which isn’t great, but is solidly above what is typically expected from, say, Dan Uggla. It’s not reasonable to take defensive metrics this small as anything definitive going forward. But it is equally clear that he hasn’t, so far, performed at a defensive level that would require the Mets to change his position.

And what was never in doubt was whether he hit well enough to stay at the position. Through 75 plate appearances, Murphy is posting a 130 OPS+, right around the 126 he gave the Mets last year. Among major league second basemen [1], that puts him fourth this year, behind only Ian Kinsler, Jose Altuve and Kelly Johnson. Again, 75 plate appearances isn’t enough to draw a conclusion, but Murphy now has 1205 of them in his major league career, and a 113 career OPS+ in those PAs. So we have a pretty good idea that Murphy is far better at the plate than the average 2B.

So do you have a solution for how to replace Mike Pelfrey’s innings? Great. How to get Ike Davis hitting again? Wonderful. But please stop trying to solve any problems by moving Daniel Murphy. He’s doing just fine at second base.

 

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[1] Among major league second basemen: http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/season_finder.cgi?type=b#gotresults&as=result_batter&offset=0&sum=0&min_year_season=2012&max_year_season=2012&min_season=1&max_season=-1&min_age=0&max_age=99&lg_ID=lgAny&lgAL_team=tmAny&lgNL_team=tmAny&lgFL_team=tmAny&lgAA_team=tmAny&lgPL_team=tmAny&lgUA_team=tmAny&lgNA_team=tmAny&isActive=either&isHOF=either&isAllstar=either&bats=any&throws=any&games_min_max=min&games_prop=50&games_tot=&exactness=anymarked&pos_4=1&qualifiersSeason=battingtitle&minpasValS=502&mingamesValS=100&qualifiersCareer=nomin&minpasValC=3000&mingamesValC=1000&orderby=onbase_plus_slugging_plus&c1criteria=&c1gtlt=eq&c1val=0&c2criteria=&c2gtlt=eq&c2val=0&c3criteria=&c3gtlt=eq&c3val=0&c4criteria=&c4gtlt=eq&c4val=0&c5criteria=&c5gtlt=eq&c5val=1.0&c6criteria=&location=pob&locationMatch=is&pob=&pod=&pcanada=&pusa=&ajax=1&submitter=1

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