Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kid's Not Allright

There are articles popping up all over the place saying it, and a few of them probably state the case far better than I ever could. But in a September where trashing the Mets has been in vogue, I think the player that's becoming most trashed right now is Daniel Murphy. Whatever it is, however he was hyped to us before the season and whatever our expectations for him were, he just doesn't have it.

That's not to say that he'll never have it. Who knows. He's only 23 and players can develop over time. But he hasn't displayed anything close to the polish he showed when he first came up. His quick start quickly faded into a series of mediocre at-bats that produced mostly outs, or the occasional single. The power never showed up. He was dropped from the #2 hole in the order. He couldn't field his position, and was moved to 1st Base, where he's proven himself at best, adequate. His Batting Average appeared to be stuck at .248 for about 3 months. Only when the season had already spiraled out of control did he appear to find himself, somewhat, at the plate, raising his average to a barely respectable .260. This wasn't the same hitter we saw late last season, who was taking pitches, working counts and driving the ball the other way with some authority. This is a guy who, at best, is a bench player pushed into an everyday role. He's had his good games, and he's certainly had his moments, but for the most part, you're going to get a guy who at his absolute best is going to hit about .260 with a smattering of 2Bs and HRs, and in this offensively-challenged Mets lineup, that's just not going to cut it from a 1st Baseman, or a Left Fielder, which is a position that I'm quite sure he's not going to play again.

I'm not trying to dump on Murphy, and I'm sure nobody is. We all like him and want him to do well. But to this point in the season, he's fallen woefully short of his expectations, and it's all come to a head after last night's game (a mirror image of another train wreck moment the Mets have had this season) when Murphy's continued defensive failures just threw everyone over the collective edge.

Can you imagine how people would be reacting if last night's game meant something?

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