The Cincinnati Reds are in a position to make a deal to offset the offensive void left behind by Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto but the team doesn’t seem inclined to do anything more drastic at this point than to promote journeyman infielder Donnie Murphy from Triple-A Louisville.
In the absence of a deal, Murphy may be the best shot the Reds have — better than Skip Schumaker, Ramon Santiago, Kristopher Negron or even Zack Cozart, who has absolutely bombed in 2014 in a manner reminiscent in Reds’ Country of Drew Stubbs.
The Reds really don’t have a minor-leaguer capable of playing both middle and corner infield who has more value as a power hitter than Murphy, and that’s pretty bad.
Murphy started 18 games at second base this year for the Texas Rangers this year and 34 games at third base for the Chicago Cubs in 2013.The 31-year-old also has made 57 big-league starts at shortstop during his mundane career.
Murphy’s big power burst came with the Cubs in 2013. In 43 games, Murphy tallied 11 home runs and 23 RBIs with an .849 OPS in 46 games. If Murphy can provide that kind of pop again, he’s probably the Reds best internal option to try to fill the void left by Phillips.
Murphy has played just five games for the Reds’ Louisville team, which included starts at second and short. If Murphy can start to show some serious signs of life in a very short time, he may get the nod to join the Reds.
If not, there’s always Jack Hannahan, who is 11 games into his rehab after missing all of this year due to a shoulder injury. Hannahan hit .216 last year for the Reds and has only one career start at second, but as desperate as the Reds are for offense, that may be enough.