Mur­phy feels healthy af­ter leg trou­ble

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - — Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo

As Daniel Mur­phy si­dled in for in­field drills Fri­day morn­ing, some­one joked about the pale­ness of his legs — both of which, it should be noted, are healthy now.

“I wore Lu­l­ule­mon comfy pants all off­sea­son,” Mur­phy joked, an un­ex­pected rev­e­la­tion from a man who looked as com­fort­able be­gin­ning his sec­ond year in the Na­tion­als’ club­house as any of the longertenured vet­er­ans.

Mur­phy prob­a­bly spoke in jest, be­cause his off­sea­son in­cluded plenty of lower body work aimed at strength­en­ing his legs to avoid a re­cur­rence of the butt in­jury that kept him out late in the sea­son.

“Let’s go with ham­string strain,” Mur­phy said in his first of­fi­cial meet­ing with re­porters Fri­day. What­ever you call it, and “butt in­jury” cer­tainly seems to be the fan-fa­vorite term, that in­jury is healed now.

“I played five games at the end of the year and didn’t feel it at all,” Mur­phy said. “So I’ve tested it, so I’m not re­ally con­cerned about it.”

Mur­phy spent the off­sea­son throw­ing bat­ting prac­tice to his young son and hold­ing hit­ting clin­ics with his brother in the Jack­sonville, Fla., area.

“We talk about hit­ting and Je­sus,” Mur­phy said. “It’s free, so if they don’t like it, they get a full re­fund.”

But the high­light of his off­sea­son, at least in the pub­lic eye, was his much-re­ported work with Mets mi­nor league out­fielder Tim Te­bow. Te­bow lived down the street from Mur­phy in Jack­sonville, but the two had not met be­fore this sea­son.

“He’s quite an im­pres­sive per­son,” Mur­phy said.

Mur­phy’s ex­pert eval­u­a­tion of Te­bow was that “the power is real,” but he con­cluded that the for­mer NFL quar­ter­back “needs at-bats.”

“He needs 500, 600 plate ap­pear­ances to try to make ad­just­ments on the fly. It’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing to see what hap­pens when — he’s done all this work, and he’s im­proved greatly — you go from some­one try­ing to hit your bar­rel to some­one try­ing to not hit your bar­rel,” Mur­phy said. “He just needs that ex­pe­ri­ence to pull from, which only a full sea­son can give you.”

So af­ter an ex­cit­ing off­sea­son full of Tim Te­bow, Lu­l­ule­mon pants and talk­ing hit­ting, Mur­phy is back and healthy and ready to play. Man­ager Dusty Baker said his un­der­stand­ing is that Mur­phy is full-go this spring, and if he weren’t, he would not be play­ing in the World Base­ball Clas­sic next month. Mur­phy is on Team USA’s ros­ter, along with Na­tion­als right-han­der Tan­ner Roark, who is in the des­ig­nated pitch­ing pool and there­fore might only pitch once . . . .

Na­tion­als out­fielder Bryce Harper ad­dressed the fact that he was wear­ing a Dal­las Cow­boys hat — much to the cha­grin of some Wash­ing­ton sports fans — while at­tend­ing a WWE event in Las Ve­gas be­fore re­port­ing to spring train­ing.

“I wear it ev­ery day,” Harper said Satur­day. “I’ve al­ways been a Cow­boy fan since I was 5 years old. I’m a Duke fan. I’m a Laker fan. I mean, I’m from Ve­gas. I’ll gam­ble on the best ev­ery sin­gle day. That’s what I do.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.