Should Mets Move Murphy to Make Room for Eighth Reliever?

ed feverCorrespondent IApril 24, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets is charged with an error as he misplays the ball in the seventh inning resulting in a run by the Florida Marlins on September 26, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Mets manager Jerry Manuel told the New York Daily News he may have to add an eighth reliever to the bullpen.

I'm not sure if I've ever heard of a team carrying 13 pitchers. Sure, some teams will carry eight relievers to start a season while they only need four starters, but never five starters and eight relievers.

Initially, I thought it would simply be too many arms, at the sacrifice of a position player.

But if four of the Mets five starters can only go into the fifth inning then the Mets better protect their greatest asset—the bullpen.

Not only does the 'pen need to be protected from overuse, but also over exposure. The more hitters see a particular reliever, the more chances they have of beating him.

So where would the room for an extra reliever come from? In my eyes, the team has three players it could get rid of to make room: Gary Sheffield, Jeremy Reed, and Dan Murphy.

Most people are pointing to Reed, and he is probably the player who would be reassigned if the Mets brought up a reliever, but he wouldn't be my option. Reed is an above-average defender with a decent arm, which makes him essential late in games.

If Reed gets enough at-bats, he may surprise many and show that he can hit. As a prospect, he was better known for his bat than his glove.

If it's not going to be Reed, most say the Sheffield project should be over. But again, that wouldn't be my option.

I'd actually put Sheffield in the lineup as the left fielder and hope that the intimidation factor alone would benefit the hitters around him. In two weeks, I would re-assess whether he had anything left.

The player I would demote is Murphy. As I said the other day, the major leagues isn't the place for a one-tool player to be learning a new position.

Yes, he can hit at the major league level, but Murphy is simply too much of a liability in the field.

After his debacle on Tuesday night, many failed to mention what happened on Wednesday. On a line drive to left field, the pitcher, who was on second base, challenged Murphy's arm.

He was safe at home.

To Murph's credit, he made a very good throw and Castro did a poor job covering the plate, but I've never heard of a pitcher challenging a fielder's arm like that and beat the throw to the plate.

Murphy's going to have to be a first baseman, and he should be in Buffalo learning the position.