Murphy Arrives and Delivers for Rockies

This time, Tom Murphy feels ready for his big-league opportunity.

Team AVG OBP SLG
Pirates 0.281 0.38 0.506
Giants 0.278 0.339 0.449
Cubs 0.267 0.343 0.404
Reds 0.261 0.338 0.405
Braves 0.256 0.342 0.423
Dodgers 0.254 0.357 0.447
Marlins 0.249 0.315 0.421
Cardinals 0.231 0.261 0.355
Phillies 0.224 0.297 0.327
Brewers 0.218 0.295 0.363
Padres 0.214 0.295 0.326
Rockies 0.211 0.312 0.349
Nationals 0.202 0.301 0.283
Mets 0.194 0.296 0.318
D-Backs 0.193 0.276 0.354

The catcher, whom the Rockies called up from the minor leagues on Tuesday, is in the big leagues for the fourth consecutive season. The first two times, he made September cameos after rosters were expanded.

A year ago, after spending three months recovering from a broken right forearm suffered in spring training, the Rockies brought him to the big leagues in June, hoping he could fill a catching void, eventually filled with the late July acquisition of veteran Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers.

In two weeks, he was 1-for-20 and returned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

On Tuesday, 362 days after that initial call up in 2017, Murphy returned to the big leagues, was promptly inserted in the starting lineup, and while the Rockies lost 4-3 against the Phillies, Murphy was a bright spot. He was solid behind the plate and went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two run-scoring singles, the first two runs the Rockies scored.

"It's being more comfortable with who I am," Murphy told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. "Not putting up a wall or front for anyone, but showing who I am and being that person. Part of it is laughing and having a good time."

Murphy was having a good time at Albuquerque, where he hit .289, was second in the Pacific Coast League with 16 home runs, and also had 14 doubles, two triples, 45 RBI, and 34 runs scored.

And his 3-for-4 effort on Tuesday actually jumped the Rockies combined average for catchers from .202 to .211.

Carrying three catchers is a bit unusual – the Diamondbacks are the one team that has done that since the start of last year – but the Rockies knew they needed to address offensive problems behind the plate. They also have some versatility with Tony Wolters, originally a middle infielder, who can fill in at second base and also is a left-handed hitter.

NL Catchers (minimum 75 at-bats)

Player Team G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
J.T. Realmuto Mia 46 180 54 13 3 7 22 14 33 0.3
Elias Diaz Pit 32 87 26 3 0 4 14 7 10 0.299
Buster Posey SF 54 205 60 13 1 4 24 22 27 0.293
Willson Contreras ChC 56 210 58 15 4 4 22 24 44 0.276
Tyler Flowers Atl 24 80 22 3 0 3 12 14 21 0.275
Kurt Suzuki Atl 46 154 42 10 0 7 24 11 17 0.273
Francisco Cervelli Pit 49 158 42 7 3 9 35 24 39 0.266
Nick Hundley SF 36 102 27 5 1 7 21 5 29 0.265
Yadier Molina StL 37 140 37 4 0 6 23 5 23 0.264
Tucker Barnhart Cin 56 197 51 10 1 4 20 26 44 0.259
John Ryan Murphy Ari 41 105 27 5 0 8 18 4 31 0.257
Jorge Alfaro Phi 50 161 40 7 1 4 13 8 69 0.248
Yasmani Grandal LAD 56 194 48 9 0 11 37 25 51 0.247
Chris Iannetta Col 43 140 33 9 0 5 18 20 40 0.236
Austin Barnes LAD 52 97 21 4 0 1 3 18 25 0.216
Francisco Pena StL 28 79 17 2 0 2 4 3 21 0.215
Devin Mesoraco Cin-NYM 41 112 24 4 0 6 13 10 25 0.214
Manny Pina Mil 44 146 30 7 0 4 12 12 28 0.205
Pedro Severino Was 42 126 25 7 0 0 9 15 30 0.198
Austin Hedges SD 24 75 13 3 0 2 10 6 30 0.173
Raffy Lopez SD 28 81 14 0 0 3 11 11 32 0.173
Tony Wolters Col 34 93 15 1 0 2 11 13 19 0.161
Alex Avila Ari 41 92 11 0 0 2 4 15 50 0.12
Tracy RingolsbyComment