04/13/12 7:20 PM ET
Murphy open to sliding over to third base
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Though Collins said all spring that he would hesitate to shift Murphy from second base this season, David Wright's finger injury may precipitate exactly such a move.
Murphy admitted on Friday that he is not the team's best option at second base, quipping, "We've all got eyeballs."
As for third base, his natural position, Murphy said that he would need just a few practice reps to reacquaint himself.
"I feel comfortable there," he said. "I haven't taken ground balls over there, but I definitely feel comfortable over at third base. I'll talk to T.C. and if he writes it, I'll go."
Collins originally did not want Murphy to stray from second because, with Wright entrenched at third and Ike Davis at first, there did not appear to be much of an avenue for Murphy to play anywhere else on a permanent basis. But the Mets are also in the business of winning games, and Murphy's natural position is at third.
Both Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno, meanwhile, boast far more experience at second. If Wright is out, one of them is going to be in the lineup anyway.
Might as well put Murphy at third, then, Collins reasons, which is a stronger position for him.
"I've got to get better," Murphy said of his defense at second base. "Our pitchers are doing a good job throwing double-play balls, and I've got to rock them. It's come a long way, but each time I drop one of those things on the ground, I realize how far I have to go to get as consistent as I want to be."
DL stint looks increasingly likely for Wright
PHILADELPHIA -- David Wright wants to make one distinction clear: His ability to play this weekend is contingent not upon how much pain he can endure from his fractured right pinkie but whether he can physically do the things -- grip a bat, throw a ball -- necessary to appear in a game.
"It's not just me trying to suck it up," said Wright, who was not in the starting lineup on Friday for the third straight game. "I have to think about the team, too. Because I'm not doing the team any good if I go out there and can't be at a certain level. If I go out there and I'm just terrible, it does me no good. It does the team no good."
It also does the Mets no good if Wright remains on the active roster but unable to play. To that end, manager Terry Collins hinted that the team will place Wright on the disabled list on Saturday if he is not close to a return by that point.
Per the recommendation of a hand specialist in Manhattan, Wright did no physical activity on Friday beyond fielding ground balls during batting practice.
He plans to attempt gripping a bat and throwing a ball Saturday, though he was not particularly close to being able to do either on Friday afternoon.
"Right now my finger won't wrap around anything," Wright said. "Obviously, it's painful, but right now it's more of a functional thing, too. It's tough to make a fist, so I can't really get that finger moving the way that I need it to grip a bat."
Wright described his current treatment as a 24-hour ordeal, with the team's training staff doing everything in its power to speed the healing process.
The Mets have plenty invested in Wright, who led the team in on-base and slugging percentage over the first four games of the season, but they are making contingency plans, as well. Collins has already asked second baseman Daniel Murphy to shift to third if Wright misses any significant time, and the Mets are prepared to call up Zach Lutz, Josh Satin or Jordany Valdespin on Saturday if Wright is not markedly better.
Regarding that decision, the Mets want to call up the Triple-A player who might give them the most pop off the bench.
The team is still optimistic, of course, that those contingency plans will never come to pass. But the way Wright spoke on Friday, a trip to the DL seems possible, even probable.
"There's no question I want to play, and I would love to go out there and play banged up," Wright said. "Unfortunately, this isn't banged up. This is a little bit more than that."
Outfielder Andres Torres has been playing catch at the team's Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but he has done no other baseball activities and is not close to a return. Torres strained his left calf on Opening Day.
Reliever D.J. Carrasco has been throwing off a mound in Port St. Lucie, though not at 100 percent. Carrasco sprained his right ankle in mid-March and has been slow to recover.
The Mets and the American Red Cross will host their second-annual blood drive on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Caesar's Club at Citi Field. All donors will receive two tickets to the April 23 game between the Mets and Giants.