Word is out that Jerry (Gangsta) Manuel has anointed Daniel Murphy as the everyday left fielder. Bravo, Gangsta. This was the right decision to make. Manuel must see something in Murphy that convinces him Murphy is mature enough to start everyday.
Daniel Murphy is only 23-years-old, but he is beyond his years. His maturity is a breath of fresh air. I have seen him in some interviews and he acts like a man in his thirties.
It is not easy to jump from AA Binghamton to Shea Stadium with only a one game layover in New Orleans. He did it and he is not looking back. His swing equates well with Don Mattingly or Pete Rose. He is well disciplined at the plate for a young player. Murphy swings to all fields with power. He is capable of winning a batting title sometime soon.
Some may question his power numbers, but I don't think it will be an issue this year. He won't be in the heart of the order. His job will be to be productive in the bottom part of the order. He will share the part of the order with catcher Brian Schneider and the pitcher.
There is concern that the lineup will be lefty heavy with Murphy in the lineup. Why is this an issue? Is this such a bad thing to have? The majority of Major League pitchers are right-handed. Besides, if you are a great hitter, you will hit any pitcher.
The big question with Murphy is his defense. You can compare his footwork to a one-legged hamster in a training wheel. He often looked like a deer in headlights chasing down fly balls. What do you expect from a kid that was called up in an emergency because the Mets had no one to play in left?
He is a third baseman by trade and he is not going to take David Wright out of there. Murphy will do well because he is a good student of the game. His ego doesn't get in the way of personal progress.
I always said if the Mets were going to sign Manny Ramirez, they should send Murphy to AAA Buffalo. There was no point in having him on the bench being a fill-in.
My thinking was to have Murphy play everyday at first and work on his power numbers. Carlos Delgado will be a free agent in 2010. Murphy could play first base and have Fernando Martinez play left field.
Now that Gangsta has made it official, Murphy can focus on his defense. What better teacher to have than Carlos Beltran?
By no means is this taking anything away from what Tatis accomplished in 2008. Tatis won the "Comeback Player of the Year" award and he deserves it. Without Tatis, the Mets would not have been playing meaningful games in September. You just can't platoon a player like Murphy when he has the potential to be a superstar in the game of baseball.
Gangsta is shaking things up in Metville. The "team first" concept is taking shape and Murphy fits the mold.