Washington Nationals: Good That Daniel Murphy Is Playing For Team USA

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reported yesterday that Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy will play in the World Baseball Classic. Here’s why it’s a good decision by Murphy.  

Last month, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer decided to pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Now, Scherzer will have one of his Nats teammates as one of his teammates this March for Team USA

Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reported that Daniel Murphy is going to play for team USA when Group C play begins March 10 against Colombia:

This World Baseball Classic is going to be the first one that Murphy will participate in and the depth for Team USA continues to grow. So far, Murphy joins Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler as the second basemen reportedly on the roster. As for the other Nats that will be in the WBC, Oliver Perez is reportedly going to pitch for Team Mexico.

As I wrote about Scherzer last month, I am a huge fan of players deciding to play in the World Baseball Classic. Murphy isn’t trying to compete for a starting spot in 2017 and his reps in spring training could always go to somebody like Wilmer Difo as he tries to make his case to be on the Opening Day roster.

Murphy brings great versatility to team USA because he can play not just second base, but he can also play some first base or left field (if needed) and could also be one of the team’s many options at designated hitter.

Ever since his magical postseason run for the New York Mets in 2015, Murphy has been known for coming up big when the lights shine bright. In the postseason for the Nats in 2016, Murphy was 7-for-16 with six RBI’s. When it came to hitting with men in scoring position, he was 4-for-8 with the aforementioned six RBI’s.

While Murphy won’t ever be the face of the Nats due to players like Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Scherzer, he is one of the rising stars in baseball. Last season, he was second in the National League batting average (.347), had 25 home runs, drove in 104 RBI’s, and had the highest OPS (.985). He finished second in the NL MVP vote to Kris Bryant (also playing for Team USA) and he won the Players Choice Most Outstanding Player award in the NL.

With the great roster that team USA is putting together, this is their best chance to win the World Baseball Classic for the first time since this event began back in 2006. Who knows, Murphy could always have a moment similar to what David Wright had back in 2009.

Back in 2009, Wright, who was Murphy’s teammate with the Mets, hit a two-run walk-off single against Puerto Rico in the second round to help keep the USA’s hopes alive. While Team USA didn’t win the tournament, Wright was given the nickname Captain America.

Some people might make the case that Murphy shouldn’t play because of the risk of injury and Murphy did have the buttocks injury last September. However, an injury could occur in Spring Training in West Palm Beach just as easily as it can in the WBC.

In the end, I think it’s a good thing that Murphy is going to get a chance to play on the international stage and represent his country. This opportunity will give him a chance to enhance his popularity amongst all baseball fans, not just Nats fans.

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