UPDATE: PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Second baseman Daniel Murphy played five innings at second base on Sunday afternoon, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk in a minor league game with the Cardinals.
But possibly better than the hit, Murphy checked his swing in his second at-bat and felt no pain in his intercostal muscle.
Though he was a limited participant in a minor league game on March 15, Murphy's appearance on Sunday also marked his first chance to hit this spring.
"It felt good, it felt really good," Murphy said during the Mets-Tigers game broadcast on Pix 11. "This is the best I've felt all spring."
Murphy, who has been sidelined all spring with an intercostal strain, must wait to see how he feels on Monday.
Because he has not had any big league at-bats, Murphy faces an uphill climb if he is to begin the season in New York. If the Mets play him in a Grapefruit League game but decide to put him on the DL to start the year, Murphy wouldn't be eligible to come off until April 15.
Murphy hasn't set a number of at-bats he'd like to reach before the start of the season, but he feels there's enough time to get what he needs in before the start of the season.
Said Murphy: "I think I should be ready for Opening Day and that's how I'm preparing himself.
"It's always a feeling. Hopefully, I just find it quicker this year."