ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Success has eluded David Murphy in 2013 – at least on the field.
The 31-year-old was expected to be an anchor in left-field. Instead, manager Ron Washington is rotating a series of young players looking for a solution – and Murphy currently isn’t among them.
In a contract season, Murphy enters Tuesday’s game hitting a career-low .221, the 3rd-lowest among A.L. qualifiers.
“I feel like I’ve been in a five month slump basically,” said Murphy prior to the Pittsburgh series. “I might have had a five- or six-game streak where I’ve hit .300, but I feel like most players have that 10 or 15 game streak a few times during the season where they hit .400 or .450. That just hasn’t happened.”
While Washington showed patience with Murphy through the first five months of the season, his faith in the sixth year Ranger appears to be fading.
With a right-handed pitcher on the mound on Monday night, Washington turned to the right-handed rookie Jim Adduci in left field – not Murphy.
When asked why the decision was made, Washington didn’t hesitate.
“It’s obvious. David has struggled. So I’ll put another guy in there and see what he can do.”
Murphy has batted just 8-for-45 over his last 19 games. His struggles are amplified with runners in scoring position, where he’s managed just 8 hits in 57 opportunities (.140) since May 26.
While the struggles have admittedly been difficult on Murphy, keeping his on-field performance in perspective has helped him deal with the pressure and adversity.
“I’ve learned a lot about how our definition of success and God’s definition of success are two completely different things,” said Murphy in describing his 2013 season. “I’ve learned about how God has us exactly where He wants us, exactly when he wants us.”
With each plate appearance, Murphy’s faith is on full-display as Christian music from “Building 29” and “Kutless” plays across the ballpark speakers.
The Baylor graduate is well aware of the influence he is capable of having on others – whether he’s struggling or not.
“I think whatever industry you’re in, you’re going to experience struggle,” said Murphy. “I think the difference in my industry is, it’s on TV and there are plenty of people looking at me. I can be an example – good or bad – for a lot of different people. Hopefully my heart’s in the right place, so that when I react, good or bad, that people are going to see Jesus in that.”
Uncertainty will continue to surround Murphy through the final weeks of the season and into the offseason. The Houston-native was yet again left out of Tuesday’s lineup, and Murphy is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Murphy has played his entire career with Texas since coming over in a 2007 trade with Boston. But regardless of what happens, he is relying on more than just his talents to carry him through this difficult time.
“I don’t exactly understand what is going or what this might lead to, but in the past I’ve talked about trusting Him, regardless of what happens…I trust Him whole heartedly with whatever He has for me – good or bad.”
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