Midway through spring training one of my editors requested a feature story for the baseball preview section. Scanning the clubhouse, I decided on Daniel Murphy. My reasoning: With Carlos Beltran out for who knows how long and Jose Reyes' status uncertain (at the time) because of his thyroid issues, Murphy suddenly could no longer hide in the Mets' lineup. Now the Mets needed him to produce, and do so right away.

I reported the story, talked to Murphy about his sophomore season, wrote it, filed it and then - poof - Murphy got hurt. And here we are midway through May and not only is Murphy still not back, his old job now belongs to Ike Davis, for obvious reasons.

So what happens when Murphy does return? Good question, and Dave Lennon attempted to answer it during his Insider this week. En route to Miami, Dave made a pitstop in Port St. Lucie and checked in with the rehabbing Murphy. Give it a read.

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In other news, the Mets lost last night on a ninth-inning wild pitch by Fernando Nieve, who only wishes he could get paid by the appearance. (He's on pace to appear in 102 games, but who's counting?) The Mets notebook leads with how Oliver Perez's outing is not do-or-die in Jerry Manuel's mind.