New York Mets, Dan Murphy: Are the Majors the Right Place to Learn a Position?

ed feverCorrespondent IApril 22, 2009

I understand when a player is so incredibly talented that a team must find a way to make him a starter even when there isn't room for him.

Alfonso Soriano moving to left field in the majors comes to mind, but were talking about a player who is an all-star and Silver Slugging award winner.

Soriano, if not a five tool player is darn close and it's understandable how a team could live with his growing pains in a new position. It could also be expected that a player of Soriano's ilk wouldn't have many growing pains because his pure athleticism would compensate for his lack of experience.

However, I'm not sure Dan Murphy fits into that formula. Murphy brings a very good bat to the table, but that's about it. Each time Murphy makes a mistake on the field or on the base path, he is costing the team more then his .320 batting average is worth.

Now I'm not going to fault him for batting second, a place Jerry Manuel appears dead set on using him, despite the decline in Reyes' production on the bases and Murph's lack of speed.

I keep hearing when Murphy makes an error that he's a young player learning a new position. Not only have I been surprised by how bad his fielding, speed, and arm are, but then I think that maybe this isn't the level for a one tool player to be learning a new position. Not only is it costing the team, but it's demoralizing the youngster and I wonder if he'd be better off learning left field under less pressure in AAA.

Now, the Mets will never demote him after passing on so many left fielders this offseason and promoting him as much as they did, but the right move for everybody involved, might be for Murphy to be playing in Buffalo.

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