Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #21 Donnie Murphy

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It’s late, so let’s cut to the chase.

Today’s subject is…

Donnie Murphy.

MurphyHe deserves better treatment then he is going to get but I wanted to get this article posted before midnight so…

Donald Rex Murphy is a utility infielder who was signed to a minor-league contract by the Milwaukee Brewers on December 17, 2012. Murphy was given an invitation to big league Spring Training to compete for an available backup infielder spot. After the…um, “options” (in an attempt to stay positive) that were gone through last year after Alex Gonzalez’ injury, it goes without saying that some fresh blood was the order of the off-season.

Murphy isn’t exactly fresh anymore so far as baseball is concerned. He’s 30 years old now and was originally drafted out of Orange Coast College in the 5th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals. Murphy made his MLB debut as a September call-up in 2004 with the Royals. Since then Murphy has also logged time with the Oakland Athletics, and both the Florida and Miami Marlins. He appeared in 52 games for the Marlins in 2012, hitting .216/.281/.379 over 116 at-bats. The Brewers didn’t sign Murphy for his bat though.

Murphy is a classic utility infielder in that he can adequately play second base, third base, and shortstop. He has even logged two innings in left field during his career.

So far this spring, Murphy is hitting just .238/.333/.286, but make no mistake about it…if he makes this club it will be because of his glove, feet, arm, and baseball IQ.

As things currently stand in Brewers camp, there is one backup infielder spot that’s definitely up for grabs behind starters Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura, Rickie Weeks, whoever starts at first base, and the other of Taylor Green and Alex Gonzalez who isn’t starting at first. In a traditional six-man infield roster, Gonzalez does officially fill the need for a defensively-capable backup shortstop, but that isn’t a necessity in the other bench bat, but it’s certainly the biggest part of his toolbox that Murphy has to offer.

There are three weeks to go until Opening Day and while that feels very close, there is still a ton of time for Ron Roenicke to make his ultimate decision.

Stay tuned.

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

 

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