“Lonnie Baseball” is making all of the headlines in Cleveland today after his record performance last night against the Texas Rangers, but one of the unsung heroes of the Cleveland Indians turn around is David Murphy. Murphy signed a 2 YR/$12 Million deal with the Indians back in November (a deal that was famously leaked by his five year old daughter at her day care center), and has since reinvented himself with Cleveland.
Murphy is coming off a relatively dismal year with the Texas Rangers, where his batting average dipped to .220 with a .656 OPS (down from .304 and .859 in 2012). Murphy spent the off season reflecting on what went wrong in Texas and the only likely conclusion was that he needed a change of scenery. Texas was no longer a good fit for him.
The stresses that come with a of a rough season were only exacerbated by the fact 2013 was a contract year for Murphy.
Fast forward to June with Cleveland and things have improved dramatically for David Murphy. Through 60 games, he is batting .289 with a .786 OPS. He has five home runs and 36 RBIs, just nine shy of matching his total from last season.
Murphy has really turned things on in the month of June, 12 hits in 29 at bats, three doubles, and a .414 AVG.
Prior to the start of the series with the Rangers, Murphy seemed content to be in Cleveland and addressed his feelings on facing his former club:
Walking out of the clubhouse and down the tunnel is weird. Change is pretty much inevitable in this game. There are some superstars that are fortunate enough to stay with one club for a long time, but most guys are going to at least play for a few teams over the course of their careers. It was going to happen eventually, and I’m very happy where I’m at. I know I’m in the right place.
-Courtesy of ESPN
The Murphy deal is proving to be a win / win for both parties, as Murphy has been given the chance to show 2013 was just a minor bump in the road. The Indians also got a skilled player at a relatively discounted rate. Had Murphy performed like this last season, he would have gotten a much bigger pay day in free agency.
Murphy may not be making headlines in Cleveland, but his turnaround in 2014 is remarkable, and both he and the Indians are receiving the benefits.