Oakland A's Prospect Q&A: Donnie Murphy, IF

After being acquired from the Kansas City Royals this past off-season, infielder Donnie Murphy has been making a strong first impression with his new club, the Oakland A's. Murphy had a red-hot spring training with the big league club and has carried that into the regular season. We spoke to the River Cats infielder about his recent time in Oakland, his infield versatility and more…

Over the years, the Oakland A's have developed a reputation for finding some gems on the major league waiver wire. Last year, the A's claimed pitcher Chad Gaudin from the Toronto Blue Jays after he was removed from the team's 40-man roster. Gaudin quickly developed into a mainstay in the A's bullpen in 2006 and has made a smooth transition into the A's starting rotation this year.

This past off-season, the A's made another waiver claim that could produce similar results down the road. The A's acquired infielder Donnie Murphy from the Kansas City Royals after the Royals had removed him from their 40-man roster. Murphy made his major league debut with Kansas City in 2004 and played with the team in 2005, as well. He struggled in Double-A in 2006, however, and the Royals decided to move in another direction.

The Royals' loss could be the A's gain, however. After a red-hot spring training with the big league club, Murphy has been one of the PCL's top hitters this season. Murphy is currently batting .351 with a 950 OPS for the River Cats. He missed a few weeks with a strained bicep, but when he has been active, he has been one of Sacramento's top hitters.

Murphy has seen some time at the major league level, as well. In two separate stints with the A's, Murphy appeared in five games, collecting four at-bats. In one of those appearances, Murphy came into a 10th inning game as a pinch-runner. Later in the inning, he collided with San Francisco Giants catcher Eliezer Alfonzo while trying to score from third on a grounder. Alfonzo eventually had to come out of the game, setting in motion a chain of events that saw Giants' third baseman Pedro Feliz behind the plate and pitcher Noah Lowry in right-field.

We recently spoke to Murphy about his time in Oakland, that fateful play in San Francisco, his improvement at the plate and more…

OaklandClubhouse: I know you didn't get a ton of playing time, but what was your experience being in the big leagues with the A's?

Donnie Murphy: It's just a great place. The clubhouse is awesome and everyone on that team are great guys. It's just fun to be around, and even when you are not playing, you are still learning stuff, so I definitely enjoyed my time up there.

OC: Can you take me through the 10th inning play against the Giants when you collided with their catcher. It looked like you were hurting there, too.

DM: We hit knee-to-knee. I had a knee contusion from it. It hurt for three days and then the knee swelled up a bit. I'm fine now, I feel great. It's just a matter of getting the swelling out. I am starting to get black and blue on the bottom of my leg now. But I feel good.

OC: Have you ever seen that before when a third baseman becomes a catcher and a pitcher goes into the outfield?

DM: [laughs] I was in a little pain, so I was in the dugout and I looked up and saw Noah Lowry going out to the outfield and I was a little confused. Then I saw Pedro Feliz behind the plate. It was pretty crazy. I had never seen that before.

OC: How was playing in the National League parks in interleague? It must have been different after spending your career with two American League teams.

DM: It's definitely different in interleague, especially when you are playing in a National League stadium. You've got the whole pinch-hit, double-switch deal and when you are playing in the American League, you don't see that at all. It's a little different because you always have to be on your toes because you never know when you are going to go into the game. It was actually quite fun because you actually knew you were going to get in the game.

OC: How has being in the A's organization compared to your time in the Kansas City organization?

DM: It just seems like it is a lot more relaxed over here. Everyone seemed like they were more business-like [in Kansas City] and it didn't seem like everyone was having as much fun because it seems like everyone was trying to be extra calm to show people what they can do.

Here, it just seems like they just let you play. It seems like more people have success from that approach because they are just allowing people to go out there and play the way they are capable and having fun.

OC: You've been swinging the bat really well this year from spring training through the regular season. Did you make any adjustments after last year's down year?

DM: I just work every day with our hitting coach here, Brian McArn. We work on stuff all the time and it has been paying off. Especially during spring training, after last season, I came into this year a little more mentally focused than before. That and just going out and doing some drills in the batting cage every day have really helped me out a lot.

OC: You've played mostly shortstop this season, but you've seen some time at other infield spots. Are you still mostly comfortable at short at this point?

DM: Yeah, definitely. I really hadn't played much short before this season, honestly. In Kansas City, they had had me mostly over at second base. Short was my natural position when I got drafted so going back there is another walk in the park. Going back to second is just like I felt last year [comfortable]. Moving around to different positions has been fine. I feel comfortable at all of them right now.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories