David Murphy Making Case for Starting in Left Field for Texas Rangers: A Fan’s Take

When everyone talks about the Texas Rangers centerfield position, it centers on Julio Borbon, Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin battling for that important spot. However, even with Borbon playing well early in spring, there is another name to add to the mix.

David Murphy
Wikimedia Commons

David Murphy remains one of the best hitting outfielders in the Rangers' lineup but he plays left field. Right now, Texas seems like they want Josh Hamilton in left to help keep his legs fresh since there is a lot more running in centerfield. But the one big problem is that Hamilton is the Rangers best centerfielder.

This week, manager Ron Washington said that if having the three best outfielders in the field means having Hamilton at center, that is what the team will do. In other words, if playing Murphy is a better option than Borbon or Gentry, expect to see Hamilton in center on Opening Day.

Craig Gentry battled wrist issues early and now might have a virus that is causing dehydration. What this all means it that Gentry can't show what he is capable of and he won't win the job otherwise. Borbon, meanwhile, has only two hits in his last 16 at-bats.

Meanwhile, when Murphy plays in left this spring, he is hitting .317 with a .341 on-base percentage and a .439 slugging percentage. Washington also said that he has improved his defense and there is no reason that Texas shouldn't start him in left.

The only problem is that means Hamilton needs to start in center. While this is not the best spot for him, with the wear and tear on his legs, it would make Texas a better team right now. Hamilton has played 168 games in left and only 69 in center. However, if you ask Hamilton, he will tell you he wants to play in center.

If Murphy continues to play as well as he has, he might have just ended the centerfield competition.

Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and has been a Texas Rangers fan his entire life, watching the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate play for over 30 years. While Texas has moved their Triple-A team, Shawn still remains a loyal Rangers fan and awaits the year they finally win the big one.

Source: MLB.COM

Other articles by Shawn S. Lealos:

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Updated Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012