Cubs Wednesday: Donnie Murphy wants to prove you wrong

The Chicago Cubs found their third baseman of the future last year (if by the future, you meant the remainder of 2013) when they called up minor league free agent Donnie Murphy from Iowa. Donnie went on to hit 11 home runs in 46 games, bringing some moments of joy to an otherwise joyless season. You might think Donnie would be willing to rest of his laurels, but he’s itching to work hard and bring glory to himself and his teammurphy

“Everything you read out there, we’re one of the worst teams in baseball,” Murphy said on Tuesday. “I think that’s a lot of motivation. Twenty-five of us don’t think we’re the worst team in baseball.

“We all look at [that critique] as a positive and it makes us even more hungry, and we want to prove people wrong,” he said. “I think guys will bounce back. Everybody knows [Starlin] Castro isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Darwin] Barney isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Anthony] Rizzo isn’t a .230 hitter.

“We have guys who can bounce back and put together good years, and you make a decent run, and hopefully get close and make the playoffs. We know what type of players we have in this clubhouse. We just have to put it together.”

Of course players can’t say they’re eager to wait for the good prospects to come up and make this a winning team. And maybe Donnie will be laughing at all of us when the Cubs make the playoffs and he was the first to predict it. But with Mike Olt and Luis Valbuena also vying for playing time at third base, where does that leave Donnie?

“Sometimes, I think it’s all about opportunity more than anything,” Murphy said, “and I think I did get a good opportunity the last two months of the season and put together a good run. I think it was really the first time in my career where I had a two-month span and got to play a lot. It’s funny how things work out like that.”

Give Donnie an opportunity, and he’ll run with it, all the way to the playoffs, right, Donnie?

“Everybody rebuilds,” Murphy said. “People just have to be patient. Rebuilds don’t take one year. I know Chicago, they haven’t had a championship for a while. The reward will be greater in the end if they’re patient.”

You’re sending mixed messages, Donnie.

How much should Donnie be worrying about Mike Olt breathing down his neck? We’ll find out for sure in Spring Training, but Jason McLeod thinks you should keep your eye on him.

“A year, a year-and-a-half ago, Mike Olt’s untouchable on the trade market,” said Jason McLeod, the vice president of scouting and player development. “(This) offseason he’s met with some specialists and tried some different things with eye drops and he feels really good.

“He’s an athletic, strong guy that can play defense, so all of that is still there. Of course, the big thing is going to be once he gets out on the field and starts facing guys in live BP. I think we’re going to see pretty early in camp just how the things that he’s done over the offseason have taken effect.”

But even if his eye issues are fixed, will he be able to mentally rebound from an awful 2013?

“Mentally, he’s doing well,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “In this business, if you try to buy guys at the high point of the market, you’re not going to have a lot of success. You need to always be looking for guys that maybe had a down year. Maybe there was a reason behind it and he can hopefully bounce back.

“We just hope that he looks back on a long, successful career and 2013 is the nadir. That’s the hope. That’s why you try to buy low on guys. Because he was a guy we tried to get in 2012 and we couldn’t. So hopefully his downturn was our benefit. We’ll find out.”

Maybe Mike Olt tanked because he always wanted to be a Chicago Cub.

15 thoughts on “Cubs Wednesday: Donnie Murphy wants to prove you wrong

  1. maim says:

    Initially misread that as “and hopefully get close to making the playoffs,” and thought, “Okay, you’re right. Let’s NOT aim too high.”

  2. juliedicaro says:

    I don’t think Donnie Murphy will be laughing at any of us.

    Also: MAIM!!!

  3. juliedicaro says:

    I have eye drops for dry eyes. Maybe Olt just needs some of those! I think, however, he should NOT borrow eye drops from Bob Costas, no matter how much Costas insists.

  4. sloanpeterson2 says:

    Did Mike Olt have lasik? Every one of my co-workers who have had lasik, needs to use 2 different kinds of eye drops daily…

  5. J says:

    If any of the Cubs players were any good, the Yankees would have already paid for the Wrigley Renovation to get the Cubs to trade said players. Wrigley’s still a dump without a jumbotron and the Cubs are still a last place team. But hey, Jed bought low on Olt so that has to count for something, right?

  6. Doc Blume says:

    If memory servers, Olt’s vision problems revolved around a concussion.

  7. Doc Blume says:

    So, supposedly, Derek Jeter (no relation) has said he’ll be retiring after this season.

    I’m kinda surprised.

  8. J says:

    Jeter “retiring after the season” is a hedge to cut and run if he has a lousy start and can’t snap out of it.

  9. dabirdguy says:

    Twins claim Brooks Raley from Cubs. Why was he on waivers?

  10. dabirdguy says:

    Donny says 25 guys think that the Cubs are not a last place team.
    Then out of the 60 or so in camp that means 2 out of 3 Cubbies DO think they are a last place team?

  11. Doc Blume says:

    Bird…Raley obviously is the odd man out on a team with such deep pitching as the Cubs have.

  12. juliedicaro says:

    Now what am I supposed to do with all my Boo Radley jokes?

  13. juliedicaro says:

    How do eye drops help with concussion-related vision problems? Yikes.

    1. Dusty Baylor says:

      IIRC, he had issues with his tear duct not producing enough tears, so they put him on drops

  14. NotAgain says:

    “Now what am I supposed to do with all my Boo Radley jokes?”

    The main reason I come to this site. Now, I’m outta here.

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