Dwayne Murphy: The Blue Jays' Real Un-Heralded Hero
un-her-ald-ded , adjective
appearing without fanfare, publicity, or acclaim; unexpected.
That is exactly the way to describe the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, who have transformed hitters' careers around and have put the Jays' close to an AL Wild Card berth. Not surprising for a guy who has already won a World Series ring (2001 with Arizona).
The Jays lead the MLB in many offensive rankings. First in home runs already with an astonishing total of 89, first in doubles, and first in slugging percentage. I can go on and on.
The main reason, the rebound of Vernon Wells, and the surprise emergence of Jose Bautista, Alex Gonzales, Fred Lewis, and John Buck.
Bautista, is 1st in the AL in HR with 16, and fourth in RBI with 44. Not bad for Bautista, who all of his career has been considered a very effective bench player with his above-average defence at numerous positions, was acquired for Robinson Diaz, a career minor leaguer from Pittsburgh.
The mastermind in his big bat, is not suprisingly Murphy. The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder was getting started too late in the batter's box, forcing him to use his shoulders rather than his hands when attacking the ball, making his swing long and wild.
Rather than going through the ball, he was going around it, leaving him vulnerable to inside pitches.
Murphy then personally approached Bautista in the Jays' weight room, gave him a bat, and told him to swing in front of a mirror. Hours of video followed from Murphy, and suddenly you had here an unlikely possible All-Star and even possibly a Home-Run derby hitter.
Meanwhile, Vernon Wells has also done the same sort of thing with Murphy, working on his swing and pulling the ball. Alex Gonzales and John Buck have seem to have adjusted to the Jays' "See it and Swing it" approach.
Hopefully the Blue Jays' bats will continue surging, and make that push for the Wild Card.
One thing is for sure, the main protagonist for the Jays' success, you gotta say Murphy.
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