The Donnie Murphy saga continues


Aug 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Donnie Murphy (8) celebrates hitting a home run with Chicago Cubs third base coach David Bell during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Donnie Who?

Chicago Cubs infielder Donnie Murphy has been on a tear of late. This continued with yet another home run last night in a Cubs’ loss to the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field (RECAP).

In a season that has lost virtually all meaning after a recent rough stretch that vanquished any hopes of the club finishing near the .500 mark, stories like this always make Cubs fans feel good. It gives them a reason to watch the game, ya know?

In 14 games this season, the 30-year old journeyman outfielder has collected seven home runs and 12 RBIS while hitting to the tune of a .333 batting average, leading some Cubs’ fans to believe that Murphy could be a long-term answer for the organization as a backup infielder. That he may be, folks. That he may be. But that’s it. Think Ronny Cedeno. That’s the ceiling for Donnie Murphy.

Cedeno, who manned the middle infield for Chicago for a portion of the last decade, is a career .245 hitter. He’s got 38 career long-balls with 230 RBIs. Keep in mind that these numbers are the results of over 840 career games.

In his career, the former fifth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals, Murphy has hit just .214 with 25 home runs and 94 RBIs. That’s in roughly one third the number of games Cedeno has played at the major league level, so keep that in mind when comparing the two. His on-base percentage over the course of his career is over one hundred points lower than his mark in 2013, which sits at a very respectable .396 in limited action.

Murphy was drafted in 2002, which is the first sign that he probably won’t turn into a top notch player for the Cubs, or any other team for that matter, anytime soon…. or ever.

He’s bounced around from Kansas City, where he made his big league debut in 2004, to Oakland for two years before heading to the then-Florida, now-Miami Marlins. The Cubs acquired Murphy as a free agent in April and, as mentioned, he has shown tremendous abilities in his time here.

In the his last seven, Murphy has put up stellar numbers, going 7-for-21 with three home runs, four RBIs and one double. He has proven especially dangerous against Washington, going 4-for-8 with three long balls. Needless to say, Davey Johnson and company will not be sad to leave Wrigley later this week if it means the pitching staff is done seeing Murphy.

Over 215 games, the outfielder has a .972 fielding percentage, which is roughly equivalent to the league average over the past several seasons. With this in mind, Chicago could very well look to keep Murphy at the major league level until he reaches free agency in 2015.

He’s cheap, he plays the game the right way and he’s contributing to the often-dead offense. What’s not to like? We can all keep saying that as long as his average doesn’t take a nose dive towards his career mark of .214. A solid .260 or .270 is perfectly acceptable, but all Cubs fans need to understand. Murphy can’t be, and will never be a starter on a contending Chicago Cubs team.