Murphy & Nieuwenhuis
The Mets just got their first taste of Murphy as an opponent, and it was a bitter. In the three game series, Murphy went 4-11 with an intentional walk, two runs, four RBI, and a homerun. His replacement, Neil Walker, was 2-10 with no runs, no RBI, one walk, and four strikeouts. Walker was outplayed by Murphy. The only thing you can say the Mets got over on Murphy was knocking his batting average down from .400 to .397.
It should come as no surprise that Murphy outplayed Walker this series as Murphy has outplayed Walker this whole year. Murphy is better in almost every statistical catergory than Walker. The main exception is homeruns where Walker’s nine is more than Murphy’s six. So far, the Mets are not benefitting from their change from Murphy to Walker.
So far, they are also not benefitting from their change from Nieuwenhuis to Alejandro De Aza.
De Aza has struggled so far as a Met. In 25 games, he’s hitting .167/.222/.484 with three runs, one double, one homer, and two RBI. Most of that damage came on April 15th against the Indians. In that game, he went 3-4 with a run, a double, a homerun, and an RBI. If you omit this game, De Aza is hitting .105/.171/.105 with no extra base hits, two runs, and one RBI.
Conversely, Nieuwenhuis is having a good year in Milwaukee. In 35 games, he’s hitting .267/.389/.413 with eight doubles, one homer, and 12 RBI. Believe it or not, he had similar good numbers with the Mets last year hitting .279/.364/.559 with seven doubles, four homeruns, and 11 RBI in 37 games. Three of those homeruns came on one glorious July day when the season was in the balance.
Despite that, the Mets felt like they could get an upgrade over Nieuwenhuis. He was designated for assignment in December, and he was picked up off waivers by the Brewers. Ironically, he was on waivers so the Mets could make room for De Aza on the 40 man roster. The Mets are also paying De Aza roughly $5.2 million more than Nieuwenhuis is making.
Overall, the Mets switch from Murphy and Nieuwenhuis to Walker and De Aza hasn’t panned out as well as they thought it would. It is still early, and a lot can change over the next 100+ games. For right now, all we can hope for is that Nieuwenhuis doesn’t outplay De Aza the way Murphy just outplayed Walker.