Catchers are not supposed to play every day. That is simply the nature of the position; even the most frequently used catchers are in the lineup three out of every four days at most, getting a day of rest from the wear and tear at the position. And then there is Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy.
The A’s have played 17 games thus far. Murphy has been in the lineup for every single one of those contests, with 12 of those appearances coming behind the plate. Otherwise, he has received a partial day off as he has slotted into the A’s lineup as their designated hitter.
Oakland A’s riding Sean Murphy as much as possible
It is understandable as to why the A’s would want to keep Murphy in their lineup as much as possible. His ability to hit the ball hard, and his impressive power potential, make him exactly the type of player that the A’s need to keep in the lineup as much as possible. Add in his Gold Glove caliber defense behind the plate, and it is understandable as to why he and Cristian Pache are the only two players on the A’s to appear every day.
Murphy has rewarded the A’s with that playing time. He has three homers and was leading the American League with seven doubles heading into Sunday. Murphy may be striking out far more than anyone wants, with 22 strikeouts in 71 plate appearances, but when he does make contact, it is hard.
Although Murphy is in the lineup every day, he is not going to set the record for most games caught in a season. Randy Hundley had 160 appearances behind the plate in 1968, starting 156 of those games, and played every inning in 146 of them. Murphy will not get to that point.
At some point, Murphy will need an actual day off. Even those partial days as the A’s designated hitter will add up, especially as he starts two of every three games behind the plate. He is going to eventually wear down. But until that point, the A’s are going to keep riding Murphy as much as they can.
Sean Murphy has been in the lineup for the Oakland A’s in every game this year. The A’s new Iron Man is one of the more unlikely options.