In the first season of his 3-year/$37.5M deal with the Washington Nationals, Daniel Murphy put up a .347/.390/.595 line and career highs in doubles (47), triples (5) and homers (25) in 142 games and 582 plate appearances, over which the 31-year-old, eight-year veteran was worth a career-best 5.5 fWAR.
Murphy finished second in NL MVP voting, behind only the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant.
Before he starts his second season in D.C., Murphy will represent the U.S.A in the World Baseball Classic, which starts tonight for the U.S. squad, with a 6:00 PM EST matchup in Miami, Florida’s Marlins Stadium against the Colombian entry in the 2017 edition of the international baseball tournament.
In six Grapefruit League games before he left West Palm Beach, FL and the Nationals’ camp to join the United States team, Murphy was 3 for 17 with a double.
Murphy talked to reporters last week about representing the U.S. in the WBC.
“Should be a lot of fun,” Murphy said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo.
“Really looking forward to playing with some of the best players in Major League Baseball. Not only with them, but against them. The rest of the teams seem to be truly talented right now. So should be a lot of fun. I never had the opportunity to wear red, white and blue and represent my country.”
Murphy’s plan is to stay with the U.S. until they’re eliminated (or win the tournament).
Team USA’s manager, Jim Leyland, shared his lineup for tonight’s game when he spoke to reporters this afternoon.
“Lineup tonight is going to be [Ian] Kinsler leading off at second base,” Leyland said.
“Adam Jones in center field, [Nolan] Arenado at third, [Paul] Goldschmidt at first, [Buster] Posey catching, [Giancarlo] Stanton in right, Murphy DHing, [Andrew] McCutchen and in left field and [Brandon] Crawford at shortstop.”
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s WBC opener for the United States:
USA lineup: Kinsler,2B;Jones CF;Arrenado 3B;Goldschmidt 1B;Posey C; Stanton RF; Murphy DH; McCutchen RF; Crawford SS— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 10, 2017
NOTE: Follow Murphy and the U.S. team tonight. Game time 6:05 PM EST on MLB Network and MLB.tv.