The New York Mets were confident second baseman Daniel Murphy would be ready once Opening Day rolled around, but now the organization is not so sure.
Murphy missed his second straight game with stiffness along the right side of his midsection. He pulled a muscle along his ribcage back in February, but it clearly has not healed properly.
The four-year player’s body is so stiff that it is impossible for him to suit up, which is becoming a problem because he has yet to appear in a Spring Training game this year. With only so many preseason games left, Murphy must get in the lineup very soon or risk not being ready for the start of the season. If this happens, the Mets may have to consider placing him in Triple-A just so he can get his swing down.
“If he’s not back in a game, we’re down to seven days,” manager Terry Collins told Mets.com. “That’s not a lot of time to get somebody that hasn’t done anything all spring ready.”
The 27-year-old batted .291 with six home runs, 65 RBI, 40 doubles, three triples and 10 stolen bases in 571 at-bats last season. He is the projected starter at second base for New York this season, and the team cannot afford to lose him for any significant amount of time.
If Murphy is unable to start Opening Day then Justin Turner or Jordany Valdespin are expected to take over the duties until he is healthy enough to return to the lineup.