Welp. Last night sucked.
Brewers > Rangers, 6-3
– Justin Grimm went 5.0 innings and allowed 5 runs — all in the 1st frame — on 8 hits, walking 3 (1 IBB) and striking out 7. Though 11 base runners in 5 innings isn’t even remotely close to what you’d want, nor expect, from Grimm, the fact that he threw 4.0 shutout innings after the 1st — thus saving the bullpen from potentially throwing 7.0+ innings — was the unsung performance of the night. Sure, the team lost. That’s the long and short of the article in front of your eyes. But by Grimm traveling 2-3 innings longer than he was probably expected to after the turbulence he experienced in the 1st, it will contribute to the bullpen flexibility over the next couple nights. So that’s good I guess.
– I hate to give up on certain players, especially if I genuinely like them as human beings, but I’ve arrived at the point of no return with David Murphy. I mean, yeah, a few month ago I posted a hot sports opinion explaining why the Rangers shouldn’t extend him past 2013, but as I write this I’m stuck wondering if he’s even going to have a role on this team come July.
In 111 plate appearances David is hitting .183/.234/.298 — a gaunt 33 wRC+. Even worse, what the team relies on him to provide — that being solid production vs. right-handed pitching — Murph is hitting a bleak .141/.214/.297 (30 wRC+) in 70 plate appearances. That’s really bad.
David Murphy had the flu.
David Murphy is notoriously bad at the beginning of the season.
That’s all well and good, but we don’t have time to wait in 2013.
Strangely, without Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and Michael Young, David Murphy was more significant to the Rangers on paper heading into 2013 than in any other year of his career. In 2011 or 2012, no one would care if Murph had the flu. We’re probably talking about a guy who was the 6th or 7th-best hitter in the lineup whenever he did play. Regardless of his turn in the order, the game would typically not be decided by what heroics David Murphy delivered.
The problem isn’t what David is — a pretty decent 4th outfielder — it’s what he was supposed to be this year. His +3.8 fWAR campaign of 2012 baited us into thinking we wouldn’t have to worry about his average-to-above-average production in 2013.
And, well, here we are. It’s May 8th and Murph is the worst player on the Rangers, statistically, at -0.4 fWAR, which is currently tied for the 14-worst mark in baseball. I know it’s a small sample, but it doesn’t make me any less done with him as a Texas Ranger.