Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy made an appearance this afternoon at the Church of the Nazarene in Far Rockaway, Queens.
The church is a staging ground for superstorm Sandy relief and a stark reminder that the suffering from the storm goes on. (The church has a FEMA office in a back room and folks lined up outside on a cold, rainy day for free meals.) Murphy helped volunteers from New York Cares hand out meals and distribute supplies.
Murphy, who got married in December, was all smiles -- about the help he was giving and when talking about the Mets' and his own prospects with spring training less than a month away.
Murphy, who hit .291 wth six home runs and 65 RBIs and played surprisingly solid defense at second base, will enter this season as the unquestioned starter at the position. Murphy has twice been seriously injured in plays at second base, but last season avoided major injury and appeared in 156 games.
“I’ve still got some work to do, but I think this will be the first time I can approach spring training understanding that I’m trying to stare at 162 [games] instead of just making sure I’m going to make a ballclub or not get killed at second base,” Murphy said. “That’s nice. So spring training, it won’t necessarily be laid back. But I think it will be hopefully a little bit more mature approach, trying to make sure I’m ready for September.”
Murphy also was upbeat about the Mets even though they don't have a proven major-league outfielder on the roster and traded Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays for prospects.
“We’ve still got time," he said. "I know Scotty H. [Hairston] is still out there. I’ve talked to [free agent] Chris Young. I’ve sent him text messages. I think there’s still definitely some help out there, not only in the bullpen -- a little bit in the rotation, but also outfield. I feel like as an organization we don’t want to quite get sucked into maybe some of the prices that are going on right now for outfield. But from a personal standpoint, I still like the group of guys we’ve got. I like some of the pieces we got back. It’s tough to see R.A. go, but I like the pieces we got back for him."