When Francisco Cervelli went down on the 60-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, many New York Yankees fans believed it was time for top prospect Gary Sanchez to come up and make his major league debut. After all, Sanchez had teared it up throughout every level in the Yankees’ farm system. However, Sanchez didn’t come up. Instead, the Yankees brought up a player who was hitting .192 in Triple-A. John Ryan Murphy, also known as J.R. Murphy, had the biggest day of his professional career Saturday afternoon with a two-hit, three RBI day.
When lefties pitch against the Yankees, manager Joe Girardi usually gives Brian McCann the day off, which gives Murphy the start behind the plate. Murphy saw his first professional start on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox when he caught a gem by C.C. Sabathia. Fast forward a few days later, and Murphy had his coming out party. After getting blown out by the Los Angeles Angels yesterday, the Yankees rallied behind the rookie’s big day and it paid off for the Yankees, as they upended the Angels in Game 2 of the three-game set.
With a man on second and third with two outs, Murphy singled to right field to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the second inning. It wasn’t until later in the game when Murphy got his first look at what it feels like to be on top of the world. In the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied at 3-3, Murphy hit a go-ahead home run which would be ultimately be the game-deciding run at the end of the day.
Murphy has been impressive behind the plate so far. If he can get his bat going, there is no reason why he can’t stay in the Bronx for longer than 60 days. After Saturday’s game, the question remains, Gary Sanchez who?