clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hamilton out, Murphy in, and why Murphy needs to stay in the majors

Josh Hamilton got a cortisone shot today, and will miss this afternoon's game against the Orioles.

David Murphy will get the start, and will get the opportunity to get his first hit of the season, having started the year on an 0 for 22 run.

And for what it is worth, I don't buy the idea that Murphy or Taylor Teagarden needs to go to AAA to play regularly and try to get their bats going, with their poor starts.  Teagarden, in particular, has only started 4 games, and has only had 17 ABs on the year.  If he had a bad 4 game stretch in July, no one would be suggesting that he be sent down to play regularly and get his bat going.  This is just something that is magnified because it is the start of the year.

Also, sending Teagarden down means calling up Max Ramirez, who will sit and only start once every four games or so, something that isn't going to help his development.  Brandon Boggs gets called up for Murphy?  He's probably going to get very little playing time.

But let's say Teagarden and Murphy get sent down, spend a couple of weeks in AAA, and start hitting well after playing every day.  They'll then come back up to Texas...and stop playing every day, and instead come off the bench and get irregular playing time.  If they struggle again, do you send them back to AAA to get their bats going?

It is the third week of the season.  This seems part of a pattern of folks overreacting to things that occur early in the year.  Chris Davis is another example...he's great after his callup last year, to the point that folks on this board were flaming Keith Law for suggesting that Davis wouldn't be one of the five best hitters in the division this season.  Then, after staring the season slow, folks decided a week or two in that Davis wasn't ready and needed to go back to AAA, and maybe we should just cut bait with Davis and give the starting first base job to Justin Smoak.

And here's the other thing...the weird overenthusiasm in some quarters about him notwithstanding, David Murphy is a fourth outfielder.  He's not likely to be a starting outfielder on a playoff caliber team.  Teagarden might be a starter, might be a backup...that's still up in the air.  But there's a good chance that both of these guys are going to be role players, rather than everyday players, in the majors going forward.

And if that's what they are going to be, they are going to have to figure out how to get their bats going without playing every day.  If they can't do that, then their future value to the Rangers is going to be very limited.