Daniel Murphy out 4-6 months with knee injury

1 Comment

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.

Who are the candidates for the Cardinals managerial job?

Getty Images
1 Comment

If you logged off over the weekend, you may not have heard that Mike Matheny was sacked as the Cardinals manager late Saturday night. I wrote about the reasons for this yesterday morning. Mike Shildt was named the interim manager and he will keep the job through the rest of the season. Between now and then the Cardinals’ brain trust is going to figure out who they want for the job full time.

Today Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes over a list of potential candidates. No, the Cardinals have not identified any officially, but Goold is a smart cookie and hears stuff and what wasn’t heard is informed speculation. At the very least, expect to hear many of the names he lists several times as the process goes on.

You gotta read his article to get the list, but there are a couple on there I want to talk about for a second.

The first one is Joe Girardi, who makes it because (a) he is the most prominent marquee manager who doesn’t have a job at the moment; (b) he played 16 games with the Cardinals in his final season; and (c) far more important than that is that he is tight with John Mozeliak. But while Girardi seems like a perfect candidate for a club in win-now mode, I question whether he’s truly the right guy given that he left New York for many of the same reasons Matheny left St. Louis (i.e. not relating well with young players). We can’t overstate that, however, because Girardi is, by every other measure, a superior manager to Matheny, primarily when it comes to managing a bullpen, so his rapport with the kids is not the be-all, end-all.

Goold also mentions Mark McGwire. He’s obviously a legend in St. Louis and, unlike a lot of former players who talk about wanting to get into managing these days, McGwire has been putting in his time as a coach for a long, long time. He’s currently the Padres’ bench coach. I’d like to see McGwire get the job for petty, personal reasons: a lot of people would get really, really mad about a PED guy getting the gig, they’d say and write a lot of dumb stuff and that, for me, is the key to a lot of content. Not gonna lie about that.

A lot of other interesting names on that list too. And there will likely be a lot of people, beyond those who the Cardinals initially identify, who express interest in the job too. It’s a sweet gig with historic job security for a marquee franchise in a baseball city, so what’s not to like?