Murphy Ready for the Season

Many young ball players suffer injuries early in their careers. A player's management of that adversity can dictate his future. Daniel Murphy entered camp determined to overcome leg injuries that hampered his progress. Murphy spread last year amongst three short season teams. Healed and refreshed after an intensive winter, Murphy reported to camp for the first time Wednesday morning.

Last fall Daniel Murphy was restricted from testing his leg beyond what his trainers mandated. Limited to only grounders and light batting practice after trial run through the short seasons, the third baseman's strength returned in the winter as Murphy hit the gym. He returned to Jacksonville and worked out in the facilities frequented by Major Leaguers and NFL stars alike. There, he trimmed down to 210 pounds as he put his leg to the test. After passing, Murphy was cleared as healthy and ready for camp.

The personal attention his leg still requires developed his appreciation for what his body needs and how it affects his peers.

"I think staying healthy is what we all want for ourselves," he said, "it's one of the toughest things for us young guys. Everyone wants do well, we don't want to see each other get hurt and what I'm doing is showing on the field". He added that his running has come back to a pleasant strength.

As his injuries heal, he will earn more quality time at his third base position, a keynote of his upcoming summer. Murphy saw no time in the field during his rookie season. However, that did not stop the Mets from running Daniel Murphy to the hot corner the first chance they got.

"The first inning I played this spring was against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was intimidating getting back on the field with the big leaguers, but being out there felt great and was a lot fun," said Murphy. While back in Jacksonville, Murphy worked hard on his defense.

Murphy has participated in all the scheduled activities expected of all the players. He currently works with hitting instructor Tom McGraw who he credits for his gains this spring.

"I enjoy talking to Tom McGraw who has taught me a new approach. He has taught me to be more patient in the zone, and that it is alright to take strikes. I used to be the guy who thought he could handle any fastball. Now, if I'm looking in and it's a strike away, I'll get them on the next one," Murphy explained.

As a strong hitter for average, he looks to take advantage of the gaps and improve his ability to take the outside pitch to left. He projects as a high-average hitter as he moves up.

His health will also pay benefits in the batter's box. With time, he will regain even strength in his legs and not favor one side. His injury threw off his power and ability to drive the ball.

"I turned into what they would call a drop and drive guy b/c I would just saddle up on my back leg. I was never really able to get through the baseball. Now with more confidence, I feel like I have extra juice," said Murphy.

Daniel Murphy may not be home run bombing third baseman. The home run numbers may come as he matures at the dish, but he is designed to make outfielders tired. His work with McGraw has enhanced his patience and has begun to mold him as a hitter. He stressed how he uses his walk-to-strikeout ratio as a barometer for his offensive success. As he continues to face live pitching, his stroke and consistency will return.

At Wednesday's opening camp, Murphy quickly adjusted to his surroundings as many of the faces were familiar from his multiple stints last summer. He knows that his teammates, wherever that may be, all face long roads of varying success ahead and that his future remains uncertain.

"I just want to play well and stay healthy. It's so important for every minor leaguer. The more I stay out there, the more the talent will come through. I want to play for a season-long team, that's my goal." he closed.

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