Dilson or Daniel?
Briefly, the song “Crimson and Clover” went through my head. I prefer the Joan Jett version, to Tommy James and the Shondells’ and in fact, would likely prefer anything Joan Jett covered. Oh, and for whatever reason I sometimes confuse / combine Tommy Dorsey and Henry James with Tommy James, even though Frank Sinatra never sang with the Shondells — though Frankie may have covered some of the same Christmas songs as the Shirelles.
Oh my, I digress … “Dilson or Daniel, over and over” … maybe it’s the Murphy/Irish thing. Get it? Clover, as in four-leaf? Yes, it’s September, I’m as shot as second-division MLB clubs, deal with it.
When we didn’t know the severity of Daniel Murphy’s calf strain, there were hints that his 2014 season could be over — especially considering Murphy’s all-out hustle, which would make him more susceptible to a re-injury if he returned too soon. As it turns out, Murphy’s back sooner than expected. Is that a good or bad thing?
For sure, the flash of Dilson Herrera we’ve enjoyed has been just that: a flash. A very small sample size. But it was enough for us to see the possibilities — like looking into a crystal ball. No doubt, the just-turned-20 Herrera has exciting defensive skills, speed to burn, and showing a bat with surprising pop, discipline, control, and clutchness (for those who don’t believe in “clutch,” pretend I mean he seems to be relaxed/calm in stressful situations).
Many Mets fans, I’m sure, would love to see more of Dilson Herrera at second base — in fact, many may have secretly wished that Murphy would be out for the year, so that Herrera could be observed for a full month. With Murphy back, no one wants to see Herrera on the bench, but, in the end, things couldn’t have worked out better for the Mets. How so?
First off, Daniel Murphy proving he’s healthy makes him more attractive as a winter trading chip. Probably, a season-ending injury to something as seemingly harmless as a calf strain shouldn’t have much effect on a player’s value in the offseason — it’s not like a hip reconstruction or an achilles tear. But, it’s a little thing that can mildly affect trade negotiations, and when a player can come back from any injury and prove to be 100% when the season ends has that much more value, and quell any concerns about a chronic issue.
Along the same lines, Dilson Herrera showing he’s near-ready for MLB makes him a much more attractive trading chip. At the same time, he wasn’t spectacular enough to put the Mets into a position where they’d be perceived to be desperate to move Murphy. That theoretically means the Mets should be able to get a bit more for Murphy than if teams knew they were itching to move him. (On the other side of that argument, of course, is that teams know the Mets want to move Murphy regardless, because of the huge pay raise due to him this winter.)
Another thing to consider is that Herrera, at a very young age, showed he could handle MLB pitching and promise in the field in a small sample size. Might his flaws become more glaring with more play at the big league level? Limiting Herrera’s exposure and cutting him off when he’s performed positively can only increase his trade value. It doesn’t hurt the Mets’ negotiation with Murphy, either, and, further, helps quell / placate the fan base in the event the Mets jettison Murphy this winter. After all, the Mets’ PR message / selling point in the Sandy Alderson era has been “homegrown” players and focusing on youth. How perfectly fitting would it be to get fans exciting about young (and cheap) Dilson Herrera at the exact moment Daniel Murphy becomes prohibitively expensive?
Even with the spirited play of Herrera, the Mets are probably a better team over the final three weeks with Murphy’s bat in the lineup. And the Mets want to win as many games as possible, so as to avoid having their first round pick protected. Wait, what? Oh, that conspiracy theory will be revealed in an upcoming post.
What’s your thought? Do you prefer to see Dilson Herrera or Daniel Murphy playing second base through the end of this season? Do you see Herrera’s performance thus far playing into the financial side of the Murphy situation in the offseason? Sound off in the comments.