Daniel Murphy out 4-6 months with knee injury

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Slated to be the Mets’ starting first baseman, Daniel Murphy injured his knee late in spring training and then watched as Ike Davis took over the job for what could be the next decade or so. Once healthy the Mets demoted Murphy to Triple-A, but he lasted just eight games there before re-injuring his knee and is now expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn MCL.
Mets fans latched on to Murphy as a long-term answer when he hit .313 with an .871 OPS in 49 games as a 23-year-old rookie in 2008, but the dirty little secret is that he was never all that promising a prospect. Handed a full-time job last season he hit just .266 with 12 homers in 155 games, posting a .741 OPS that ranked 23rd among the 24 first basemen who batted at least 450 times.
Combined with his strong rookie numbers that gives Murphy a .275 batting average, .331 on-base percentage, and .437 slugging percentage through 204 games in the majors, which is about what you’d expect from someone who hit .295/.356/.452 in the minors. He’s still just 25 years old and certainly looks capable of being a decent platoon player, but now he’s facing a long road back from the knee injury and an uncertain future in New York.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: