Blue Jays pitching prospect Patrick Murphy is doing his best not to be overshadowed by Lansing potent offense
Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Patrick Murphy is 10 starts into his 2017 as a member of a rocky Lansing Lugnut rotation. Let’s take a peek at how his season has gone so far.
Murphy made 4 starts and went 2-0 with a 4.64 ERA. He allowed more than a hit per inning pitched, 1.23 H/IP which works out to 11.09 hits per 9 innings. This allowed opponents to bat .313 off him.
Murphy threw 59.64% of his pitches for strikes and walked 11 batters while striking out just 14.
Murphy’s success in May came from his ability to induce weak contact and get ground balls. Murphy induced 29 ground ball outs versus 8 fly ball outs, finishing with a very good 1.93 GO/AO for May.
In 5 starts Murphy finished with a 1-1 record and 2.23 ERA. He cut the hits per 9IP down to 6.16H/9IP which lowered the opponents batting average to .191.
Throwing more strikes (63.56%) didn’t result in more strikeouts but it did lower his walk total for the month. In 32.1 IP Murphy struck out 12, while walking 11. The lower walks and lower H/9 IP allowed Patrick Murphy to post a very impressive 1.02 WHIP.
While he allowed more flyball outs (22), he allowed the same number of home runs in May as he did in April with 2. His May GO/AO was down from April at 1.25.
Patrick Murphy appears to be getting stronger as the season moves on. His last start was his 2nd best start, bested by his 7 innings, 3 hit performance on May 18th.
On June 2nd, Murphy pitched 6 shutout innings, allowing 9 hits, walking one and striking out 6. The strikeouts were a season and the 6 shutout innings extended his shutout inning streak to 13.
Depending if Lugnuts manager Cesar Martin decided to skip a starter with an off day on June 5th or give Murphy an extra day’s rest, Murphy will make his next start on June 7th or 8th at home against the Dayton Dragons.
Home is not where the heart is for Patrick Murphy. With a home record of 1-0 and 3.82 ERA, Murphy has hardly ‘struggled’ at home but his road record of 2-2 and ERA of 1.48 is much better.
The 6-foot-4 righty is dominating LHB to the tune of .208 BA and 2.25 ERA. Right-handed batters have fared better batting .310 and all four HRA by Murphy have come off RHB.
Murphy uncorked 11 wild pitches in 69.2 IP and 13 starts as a member of the Vancouver Canadians in 2016. This season, in 59.2 IP, Murphy has only uncorked 3 wild pitches and hit one batter. Not bad for a guy that routinely throws his fastball in the mid to high 90’s. There’s been chatter that Murphy can eventually touch 100 mph.
His 4.83 K/9 is down from the 6.2 K/9 and his 3.47 BB/9 is up from the 2.97 BB/9 he posted with the C’s. His 3.6 K-BB% will likely increase as the season wears on but don’t expect it to climb much higher than 6-7, as Murphy is still figuring out how to finish off batters.
I expect that Patrick Murphy will remain in Lansing for the next month. The spread between his 2.87 ERA and 4.51 FIP/4.49 xFIP tells me that Murphy’s numbers have the potential to move in the wrong direction.
Despite being drafted in 2013, 2017 is just the 2nd season in the Blue Jays system for the 21-year-old. Murphy is still recovering precious development time lost in 2015 thanks to surgery required to fix a thoracic outlet issue.
With an overpowering FB, a plus curveball, and a below average to average change, tools are there for Murphy to climb through the Blue Jays system. Before this can happen, reps and innings are required.
*Featured Image Mandatory Credit: C.Stem JFtC
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