09/23/12 6:45 PM ET
Collins likes Murphy's play at second base
By Adam Rosenbloom / MLB.com
Murphy was a corner infielder in college, but played first, third and left field throughout his first two seasons with the Mets. He made strides as a first baseman, but New York was set on Ike Davis. So Murphy made the transition to second.
"I think anytime you're a guy who's trying to learn a new position, you spend a lot of time at that position to get comfortable, and Dan has worked very, very hard," Collins said. "I think he's done a very good job defensively, he's really done a good job around the bag."
Murphy has committed 15 errors this year, though Collins said he's seen great improvement in the second half. Sunday marked his 121st start at second this season.
As for his offense, Collins said Murphy is pretty much on par with what the skipper expected at the start of the season. After going 1-for-4 in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Marlins, Murphy -- who has hit in every spot but leadoff -- was batting .292 with six home runs and 63 RBIs.
"He's hit in some different spots in the lineup," Collins said. "Players who come in here like to know where they're hitting in the lineup. But Dan's one of those guys, who as long as his name's in the lineup, he's going to get you some good at-bats."
Shoppach carving niche in Mets' clubhouse
NEW YORK -- Since Kelly Shoppach joined the Mets on Aug. 14, manager Terry Collins said the catcher has been a great fit in the Mets clubhouse.
"He blended in really easily," Collins said. "When you come in as late as he did, it's kind of tough to establish relationships. But he's got a great personality."
Shoppach has started just 16 games behind the plate this season for the Mets, but Collins said the experience he brings has helped New York's young staff.
"He's done a really good job with some of our younger pitchers, which helps," Collins said. "When he's in the clubhouse, he's not just hanging with the veteran guys. Because he's got to catch those young guys ... he's got to know them."
When Shoppach came over from the Red Sox, there were reports that he played a role in the players' discontent with manager Bobby Valentine. But Collins said once he arrived in New York, he's brought nothing but a good attitude.
"He comes out and he's got his wrists all taped up, and Ronny Cedeno has a bad hamstring, so he comes out with his hands taped up and his eye black on and says 'Hey, if you need a shortstop, I'm ready to play if you need a backup,' Collins said. "He keeps things light, so it's been a good find for us."
Closer Frank Francisco, who has been bothered by tendinitis in his right elbow, will not throw for at least a few days to allow the swelling to subside.
Collins said Francisco warmed up in the bullpen on Friday and felt fine, but was unavailable on Saturday after feeling discomfort before the game.
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.