Tag: mark derosa

2011 Evaluation: Dan Murphy

What to do with Dan Murphy? That’s the burning question in Metsville.

After posting a .320 AVG, .360 OBP, and .809 OPS, Dan Murphy has convinced many that he can hit. But can he field? The jury is out, as there are differences in opinion. Some point to his sparkling UZR as evidence of his ability to play first base. Others insist that his sample size at the position is not large enough to rely on UZR, and still others who have no idea what UZR is saw an awkward first baseman who often looked confused and made frequent mental lapses that overshadowed any positive aspects of his defense.

And then there is the matter of Murphy at second base, a position he seems unable to play without hurting himself. For the second year in a row, Murphy sustained a serious injury due to improper footwork around the bag. We’ve already seen that the outfield is a similarly dangerous place for Murphy to be; although he never hurt himself out there, we saw enough to think he might. He’s probably safest at

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DeRosa, Guardado Off the Table

According to several reports, superutilityman Mark DeRosa has agreed to a two-year, $12M contract with the San Francisco Giants. Seems like a lot for a 35-year-old coming off wrist surgery, doesn’t it?

Additionally, those pesty Washington Nationals have made another acquisition, signing veteran lefty reliever Eddie Guardado to a one-year, minor-league contract. “Steady” Eddie appeared in 48 games for the Rangers last season, posting a 4.46 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. The 39-year-old has spent most of his career in the AL. No word on the terms, only that it is a minor league, non-guaranteed deal. That said, a good move by the Nats to add a possible LOOGY without much risk.

The suddenly shrewd Nats also signed former Phillies utilityman Eric Bruntlett to a minor league contract. Again, not a bad deal, in that they get a versatile bench man on a non-guaranteed deal. He’s no Alex Cora but he’s not nearly as expensive, either.

Out on the Left Coast, the Mariners have signed catcher Josh Bard and reliever Chad Cordero to minor league contracts. I’ve always liked Bard for his switch-hitting ability, good discipline at the plate, occasional pop, excellent defense, and good reputation for handling pitchers. But, he’s not friendly with Johan Santana so Henry Blanco was a better choice on a guaranteed deal. Cordero is still recovering from shoulder surgery on his labrum — he hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2008, and threw only 14 minor-league innings last season. Ironically, the Mets latest signee Kelvim Escobar is coming back from similar surgery, and threw 15 minor-league innings last season (as well as another 5 in MLB before being shut down for the year).

A healthy reliever — Bob Howry — has been signed to a one-year deal by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Terms were not disclosed, but most are guessing it is in the $2M – $3M range. Howry appeared in 63 games, posting a 3.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Luckily the Mets aren’t in need of relief help, having already filled the ‘pen with Escobar and Ryota Igarashi.

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Who Should Really Be Auditioning at 1B

1b-teeAfter 65 games at first base, Dan Murphy has shown he can be defensively adequate at the position. Other than a few brain farts and errors due to inexperience, Murphy is, right now, better than Mike Piazza ever was at the position.

If the Mets are serious about going into 2010 with Murphy penciled in as the starting first baseman — or even if they’re not — there is another player who should be getting reps at first base:

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