After trading away their primary backup catcher in Jonah Heim, the last thing the Oakland A’s needed was bad news for Sean Murphy. Unfortunately, that was the case as Murphy required surgery during the offseason for a collapsed lung.
Right now, the hope is that Murphy will be ready for Opening Day. Although he is not currently in camp due to his recovery, he should be able to return at some point soon. The A’s are hopeful that he will be able to get some action in games later in March, ready to take on the full workload once April rolls around.
Oakland A’s need Sean Murphy to be ready
While Murphy is set to be the starting catcher, he is likely to see the vast majority of the work behind the plate. None of the A’s other options have much of a track record of success in the majors, as Austin Allen and Aramis Garcia have plenty of question marks.
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After a slow start to the season, Murphy put together a solid rookie campaign. His 131 OPS+ was the highest of any of the A’s regulars, as he posted a .233/.364/.457 batting line in his 140 plate appearances, hitting seven homers and five doubles. Although he struck out 37 times, Murphy also drew an impressive 24 walks.
There is also reason to expect that there is even more to Murphy going forward. His batted ball profile showed that his batting line was actually unlucky based on the expected results. Murphy’s ability to hit the ball hard consistently, and his solid barrel rate, indicate that he could have a breakout campaign as soon as this coming year.
But as is the case with anything else, Murphy has to actually be able to play for that breakthrough to happen. While the A’s may not be overly concerned about his fractured rib, every day his misses will put him further behind for Opening Day.
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The Oakland A’s expect Sean Murphy to be ready for the start of the season. Hopefully, there will not be any setbacks with his recovery from his fractured rib.