Daniel Murphy is in arguably the worst slump of his career. Over the past month, he has seen his batting average drop from above .300, down to almost .270. He is hitting .188 this month and hasn’t even walked once in 17 games so far in June. Is this the real Daniel Murphy? Should he be traded? Not a chance.
Throughout his career, Daniel Murphy has been known as a pure hitter. When he came up in 2008, he his .313 in 49 games at just 23 years old. He had a bit of a sophmore slump in 2009 and was injured in 2010. However, in 2011, he returned with another great year at the plate, hitting .320. I really believe he would have contended for the batting title with Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun had he stayed healthy.
This 17-game stretch for Murphy is not normal for him and should not mean he should be dealt in favor of a guy like Jordany Valdespin. Daniel is still hitting the ball well. His LD% (line-drive percentage) is 19.4%, which is right around his career percentage of 21.5. His groundball and flyball rates are also around his career averages. Then you take a look at his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) which is at .just 210 this month. This is a clear indication that this streak is mostly just bad luck and good fielding.
The Valdespin talk has to stop. Although Daniel does need to adjust his approach at the plate and get back to the gap-to-gap hitter with 10-15 home run power that he used to be, he is certainly a better option at this point than Jordany Valdespin. Valdespin has put up decent power numbers thus far, but it’s such a small sample size that nothing can really be determined quite yet. If he keeps this going, then by all means, let the two battle it out for the second base job, but for right now- let it be.