User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Rangers' Murphy finally set as everyday guy

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Only two players have appeared in more games for the Texas Rangers than David Murphy over the past six seasons.

Advertisement
Yet for the first time this spring, Murphy arrived in Arizona without the tag as the Rangers' fourth outfielder. He instead will be the everyday left fielder, a distinction that hasn't changed his approach.

``I've never been in this position before, so I think I'm looking at it like any other spring,'' Murphy said. ``It's a performance-based sport, and I think you could assume the position's being given to me because I was successful last year. But my performance still needs to be there, so I'm not taking anything for granted.''

Murphy played 147 games last year, with 118 starts in the outfield and seven more as the designated hitter. The left-handed hitter had a .304 average with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs, including an impressive .347 clip against left-handed pitchers.

``It was a step in the right direction,'' he said. ``There was a level that I could play at, that I knew I could, and that I hadn't. And I finally started to show signs and be more consistent, and I still think there's more out there.''

Through his first 13 spring training games before the Rangers had a day off Wednesday, Murphy hit .314 (11 for 35).

The Rangers acquired the Texas native and former first-round draft pick in July 2007, from Boston in a non-waiver deadline deal that sent closer Eric Gagne to the Red Sox. Murphy made his debut with the Rangers a couple of weeks later.

Since then, Murphy has played in 684 regular-season games and been with the Rangers in their only two World Series.

Michael Young, the longest-tenured Rangers player before being traded to Philadelphia over the winter, played in 807 games for Texas during that stretch. Second baseman Ian Kinsler played in 727.

``I think David is on a mission, the same mission he was on last year. He wanted to be an everyday guy last year, he ended up being it. He has no intentions of losing his everyday job,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``He didn't show me anything (last year) I didn't already know. He just was more consistent at doing it.''

The expectation last spring was that Murphy would split time in left field, the spot five-time All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton would slide into when Craig Gentry or another right-hander got turns in center field.

Hamilton is no longer in the outfield mix after leaving in free agency for the AL West-rival Los Angeles Angels. Now Gentry is competing with Leonys Martin for the starting job in center, with the 31-year-old Murphy set in left going into his final season before potential free agency.

``Murph's a good player and he's worked on things,'' general manager Jon Daniels said. ``He's always been an important part of the club, and he's going to get an opportunity to continue doing just that. ... He's a mature person, a mature player, he's not going to be fazed.''

Murphy improved his defense over the past couple of years working with Gary Pettis, a Rangers assistant coach who was a five-time Gold Glove outfielder.

He wanted more chances to hit against left-handers, something Washington gave him. And Murphy responded with the best single-season average for a Rangers left-hander against a lefties with at least 75 at_bats - though that was exactly how many he had. Going into last season, he was hitting .253 in his career in such situations.

``It's not necessarily the physical work, it's just the mental part of it, and the thought process, and thinking my way out of it, thinking my way into becoming a better player because this has to be a thought before I can physically do it out there,'' Murphy said.

``A lot of people ask me what the difference was in last year,'' he said. ``I told them I didn't feel like it was necessarily a physical difference. I felt like I'm older and smarter.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rose: Who's Hot - NL Edition
News: MVP and Cy Young Odds
Scherzer wins 13th, Tigers dump ChiSox
Jays beat Red Sox, complete road sweep
Gausman sharp, O's beat Angels 4-3
Indians trade Masterson to Cards
Keuchel, Astros drop A's as home 'dogs
Nats snap Marlins' hot streak, 4-3
Gallardo, Brewers top Rays, 5-0
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
19-8 L27 Guarantees, +7,962 TY
5-0 L5 Guarantees, 13-3 L6 Days
15-5 L20 Totals, +3,044 This Year
5-2 LN, 12-5 +789 L17, +2,444 TY
3-0 +354 Run, +2,323 This Year
5-2 LN, 18-6 G-Plays, +2,135 TY
5-2 L7 Guarantees, 7-2 L9 Totals
7-3 L10 Over/Unders, +2,012 TY
23-12 Last 35 Selections
5-2 L7 Guaranteed Plays
4-0 L2 Days, 25-12 +1,602 Run
7-2, +549 L9 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Antony Dinero
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 7962
Bruce Marshall + 3044
John Fisher + 2444
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3459
James Manos + 2542
Dave Cokin + 1531
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2164
Matt Zylbert + 1859
Tony Stoffo + 1342
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1348
Doc's Sports + 1137
Kyle Hunter + 876
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3589
Doc's Sports + 1507
Kevin Rogers + 1504
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2522
The Gold Sheet + 1152
Bruce Marshall + 1091
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!