David Murphy tested his injured groin Monday by taking batting practice, shagging some flyballs and doing some light throwing, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
“I feel good,” Murphy said. “I probably ran out there at 50 to 60 percent. I’m not going to know until I ramp it up some more.”
Murphy hasn’t played since last straining his left groin during last Wednesday’s game against the Mariners. He told Durrett that he thinks he will be good to go for the ALDS if he is at 80 to 85 percent.
The good news is that because Jeff Francoeur is expected to be in the starting lineup as the right fielder in Game 1 against left-hander David Price on Wednesday, Murphy will actually have an extra day to get ready.
The 28-year-old Murphy batted .291/.358/.449 with 12 homers and 65 RBI during the regular season, including a .298 batting average and 847 OPS against right-handers. After Wednesday, the Rangers are tentatively scheduled to face James Shields, Matt Garza and (if necessary) Wade Davis — all of them right-handers. Just one of those little things to look out for.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.