This Is Not Where I Belong

Murphy
“This is not where I belong”. If you’ve ever been to a Texas Rangers game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington then you know the lyric. It’s from David Murphy’s walk-up song and it’s very fitting this year. He does not belong as the everyday left fielder and he doesn’t belong at bat against….well, I was going to say left-handed pitching but this season it doesn’t matter who he is facing.
He has heated up as of late but his current slash line is .221/.281/.386. Yes he has hit ten home runs and 30 RBI but he’s very streaky and it’s mostly bad streaks this season. He also currently has an fWAR of 0.4. It’s almost come to the point where I sigh when he comes to bat as I expect him to ground out or fly out especially when runners are on base and it seems like it always ends up being the third out.

So why is he playing so much? The mysterious high-five injury to Jeff Baker is one reason though Murphy is actually a better fielder than Baker. Another reason is the loss of Josh Hamilton to free agency and the fact that another comparable outfielder wasn’t added in the offseason. Leonys Martin is doing a great job in centerfield and the only other option, the injured Craig Gentry, isn’t much better at the plate. Maybe it’s time that Ron Washington plays Engel Beltre more in left but that’s not Wash’s way as he’ll always give the majority of playing time to his veterans.

David Murphy also proves the myth of the “contract year” to be simply a myth. He’s a free agent in the offseason and will most likely find a job somewhere else as I cannot see Texas bringing him back. And wherever he goes he’ll still be a fourth outfielder.

This is not where he belongs. Not anymore.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shutdown Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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