Every Met fan in the world rightly wants Luis Castillo gone. The Wilpons loathe to eat money but say they will if Alderson asks. We shall see many fans are skeptical and again rightfully so. Castillo got a insane 4 year 24 mil deal from Omar back in November of '07 and came into Spring training out of shape and off knee surgery. He has played terrible defense and only hit in '09 but killed ground ball pitch Pelfrey with his defense in '09. Hell Castillo was so bad in '08 that fans would rather see Argenis Reyes, Ramon Martinez, and Damion Easley play over him. Martinez had some good games in September but after a excellent '07(and coming off a serious injury), Easley gave the Mets very very little.
The Mets getting no production out of second base wasn't as killer as the bullpen was that year but it badly hurt them. Not surprisingly nobody bite when Castillo was put on the trade block pretty much the last three off-seasons. The Mets fans started to dream of someone anyone take over at second base. In July of '08 Daniel Murphy asked to be moved over to second base at AA. He got a few games and looked okay to some. That lead to fans like me dreaming of him coming up and playing second base and adding a potent bat. Murphy was having a breakout campaign in the minors but really didn't have a position.
He got called up in August of '08 but not to play 2nd, it was to play LF to play over the ineefective('06 hero), Endy Chavez. Murphy was a house of fire pretty much right away and hit over 300 got on base and played aquete defense. He was so good at getting on base that he was moved up to the #2 spot in the line. Excepting times when brain dead Jerry had him bunt Reyes over for whatever reason. Jerry did plenty of that over the years. Murphy was never in the lineup against lefties but was used as a pinch hitter and was very effective.
The Mets feel short again in '08 but Murphy was a big reason to be excited for '09. Everyone remembers him hitting a lead off triple vs The Cubs late in the year and being stranded and the Mets having a heart wrenching loss. Well after 130+ at bats he put up a .870 ops. We had all seen short sample all stars like Kevin Maas and Mike Jacobs come up late in a year as a house of fire and then peter out. He played some second base really in winter league in '08 and got hurt and people stated he was too big and unathletic to handle second base.
The '09 season was an unmitagated disaster for The Mets from the injury front to how it was handled to the managing to the bullpen again.. Murphy stumbled and bumbled in the OF and lost the manager confidence and was shifted to the bench and then 1b. He played good defense at first but struggled offensevely and put up a .740 ops inflated by a big September. Last year he was supposed to be the starting first baseman and got hurt and by the time he was ready to come back Ike had made first base his. The Murphy second base project went back into effect but it was short lived as he was taken out on a dirty as hell slide and missed the year. He went to winter ball to play second base and got hurt yet again this winter.
No one knows what Murphy really is. No one knows if he can handle second base or even stay healthy. The chances of him being as good as the numbers he put up in a shot sample in '08 are pretty small. I don't think he's as bad as the .740 ops he put up in '09 either. He has a career .770 ops and maybe that's what he is. He missed pretty much a whole year so while he should be given a chance to compete for the second base job he should be on equal footing with guys like Turner and Emaus. Whether he can play defense at 2b is the biggest question but what about the patience and plate discipline that he displayed in '08 that disappeared in '09? He is a good pinch hitter and can play numerous positions so he still has uses if he can't hold up at second base.
The Mets second basemen put up a ops in the 500's last year. I would give Murphy a chance to platoon at second with Emaus or Turner. Maybe it'd be best if he goes to the minors for more refinement at second base but I'd try it up here. The hope is Reese Havens finally stays healthy because he has star potential and is the best of the lot at second. I believe Murphy is a major leaguer but am somewhat skeptical he can handle second base due to his issues staying healthy, mobility and ability to turn dp's. He struggled at third base in the minors so can he really handle second?. It won't hurt in a bridge year to see. Mets assistant Gm Paul Depodesta has said guys that hit a lot of doubles are underrated and Murphy has hit a bunch of doubles in his 600+ at bats in the majors