Let’s take a quick trip back to 2013. Fresh off their first playoff appearance since 2007, the Indians sought to stabilize their outfield. They found that answer in David Murphy, a hot swinging Texan (who also played for the Texas Rangers) that gives pitchers absolute fits with his unusual (but effective) swing. David Murphy was my secret weapon in fantasy baseball, so when I heard we got the guy, I was pretty excited.
2015 saw a diminished role for Papa Murph, but even with his limited at bats, he STILL managed almost a hit per game. Like I mentioned before, great guy to have on the team because he can do everything. As the season wore on, and the Indians were thinking “sell” instead of “buy,” they traded Murphy to Anaheim for a shortstop prospect.
You know what I liked best about David Murphy? His persona. From what I’ve seen, he’s like the baseball version of Mother Theresa. You’d be hard pressed to find a nicer, family-man type in all of sports. Seriously, this guy doesn’t even swear, according to his Wikipedia page. Couple his positive attitude with his solid play, how could you not like him?
Know who else was a cool chap? Marc Rzepczynski. I could not for the life of me pronounce his last name when I first saw it, and even Matt Underwood and Rick Manning struggled at first. We just called him “Scrabble” because his name kinda looks like random letters you’d pick out when you play that wicked board game. Anyway, we got him from the St. Louis Cardinals for a prospect in the middle of the 2013 season and he became a staple in our bullpen.
Like his teammate David Murphy, Scrabble was traded as the season started to slip away from the Indians. We sent him to San Diego for Abraham Almonte (if you’ve seen the Tribe lately, you’d notice Almonte is killing it right now), so while it sucks to lose a reliable bullpen arm, it’s good to see our return is paying off.
Both David and Marc were reliable components to a decent Indians club. I loved having these guys here, I loved watching them play, and I’m glad they’re going to be getting regular playing time with their new respective California clubs. I’ll be keeping an eye on them as the years go by.