Daniel Murphy was originally penciled in as part of the Washington Nationals' lineup for the first game of three with the Pittsburgh Pirates in D.C. Within the last half-hour, Murphy, who was set to bat third and play first, was scratched with what the Nats described as "general leg soreness".
Murphy, 31, finished the so-called "first half" of the 2016 campaign with the highest average in the majors (.348), a .387 OBP and a .598 SLG.
Murphy set a career-high for home runs in a season in the first-half and headed into the All-Star break leading all National League second basemen in doubles (25), home runs (17), RBIs (66) and slugging percentage.
The former New York Mets' infielder, who signed a 3-year/$37.5M free agent deal this winter, and earned his second career All-Star nod, was going strong heading into the Break, finishing the first half with a 7 for 17 (.412/.444/.1.059) four-game series against his former team in Citi Field, hitting two doubles and three home runs and driving in 10 runs as the Nationals took three of four in NY.
That impressive display left Murphy 22 for 52 (.423/.446/.885) with three doubles and seven home runs in 13 games against his former team so far this season.
Murphy is just the second player in the last 50 years to lead the majors in average at the All-Star Break in his first year with a team, joining one-time Nationals' catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez on that very short list.
Rodriguez had a .369 AVG at the Break in 2004, in his first year with the Detroit Tigers after he left the then-Florida Marlins as a free agent.
According to reports from Nationals Park, the Nats are saying Murphy is day-to-day with the "general leg soreness":
Nats say Murphy is "day-to-day." Just getting a day off.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 15, 2016
More info when it's available once Nats' skipper Dusty Baker speaks to reporters after tonight's game...