Daniel Murphy makes spring debut, expects to play opener

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Six weeks after being diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle and one month after he was said to be “7-10 days” from returning Daniel Murphy finally made his spring training debut today.

He went 1-for-3, played five innings defensively at second base, and reported no problems, telling Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger that he expects to be in the Opening Day lineup despite seeing only a handful of spring at-bats.

He’ll have to avoid a setback in the Mets’ final two games and it sounds like Murphy was still moving around a little bit gingerly this afternoon, but for now he’s ready to go.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.