What to Expect From New Angels Infielder Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy with the Chicago Cubs

After a successful stint with the Long Island Ducks, Daniel Murphy is back with a MLB organization. The three-time NL All-Star inked a Minor League deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Here’s a look at what Murphy has been up to, and why this signing by the Halos makes sense.

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A Look at Murphy

Three-time All-Star Daniel Murphy and the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks announced this past March that the 38-year-old would come out of retirement to suit up for the independent ball team. It was a curious decision on Murphy’s part, given that the last time the ex-Met suited up for a MLB team came in 2020 with the Rockies.

Murphy was one of the league’s most dominant hitters in the 2010s, and his stretch from 2015-17 was incredible. After leading the Mets to the World Series in 2015, Murphy joined the Nationals in 2016 and proceeded to lead the National League in SLG (.595) and OPS (.985) in his first season, one that saw him finish runner-up to Kris Bryant for the NL MVP. Murphy’s .879 OPS during those three season ranked in the top 20 of the league (min. 1,000 PA).

Largely a productive hitter up until his last season in the Majors, Murphy’s intention was obviously to get noticed by an MLB team. He did just that with the Ducks, as he hit .331/.410/.451 with 47 hits over 37 games. Murphy didn’t showcase much pop, as he only hit two bombs with Long Island. Still, he showed that has that sweet swing at the plate.

The Angels’ signing of Murphy was announced by the general manager of the Long Island Ducks. It’s a Minor League deal, so expect Murphy to report to Salt Lake (AAA).

What it Means for the Angels

The Angels’ acquisition of Murphy isn’t a crazy one, for a few reasons. Beside the fact that it’s a no-risk move, the Angels don’t have much in the way of left-handed hitting to work with. The only lefties on the Angels’ collection of hitters are Shohei Ohtani, Matt Thaiss, Mickey Moniak, Jared Walsh, and Luis Rengifo (switch).

We don’t need to discuss Ohtani, but let’s go over the other faces for a brief second. Thaiss has been solid since Logan O’Hoppe went down earlier in the year, while Mickey Moniak owns a .302 average over his first 18 games. However, Rengifo and Walsh have not been great at the plate. Walsh, in particular, has hit much like he did last season. Over his first 20 contests of the season, Walsh owned a .122/.283/.184 slash line with three extra base hits and no home runs.

Anaheim sported a top-ten OPS (.754) and wRC+ (108) entering the day on June 12 (per Fangraphs) against right-handed pitching, but there’s no harm in seeing if Murphy could provide a bit of LHH depth and be a potential bat against right-handers.

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