In a Rangers’ outfield crowded with talent, whether David Murphy will emerge from Spring Training with a starting job is wholly unclear. What is clear, at least according to Murphy, is the area on which he can most improve to give himself a shot at such a role in 2012: Defense.
“If there is one area where I can improve the most, it's defensively," Murphy said this week, per the Dallas Morning News. "I can get better jumps. There were too many balls last year, that after the play was over, I was thinking 'I could have caught that ball.' I know I can improve in other areas, too, but right now, I think I can make the biggest improvement defensively."
According to the account in the Morning News, Murphy recently called the Rangers’ outfield instructor Gary Pettis with the simple goal of becoming a better defensive outfielder in mind, and will report to Surprise, Az. a full four days before the report date for position players. That is, in his fifth spring training with Texas, Murphy seems quite intent on improving.
“Each year I've experienced this, I think I've gotten better at preparing myself," Murphy said. "There are times when it's frustrating and you want to be on the field, but I look at the positives. I've played this role before. I think I've gotten better at dealing with being productive even when playing time is sporadic. I'm learning a lot each year."