New York Mets Series Preview vs. Washington Nationals April 6th-9th

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Daniel Murphy Health

Mar 17, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) reacts to an inside pitch for ball four against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy injured his hamstring about two weeks ago, and his availability for the beginning of the regular season was clouded. He was able to make good progress in recent days, and will be in the starting lineup Opening Day. The Mets are so comfortable with his health, they are carrying an extra reliever in the bullpen in favor of keeping a fifth bench player. That makes me think that Murphy is healthy and ready to assume his normal workload.

It will be worth keeping an eye on in the early going, because the Mets have very little in the way of relief on the bench. Ruben Tejada is the only backup middle infielder currently on the roster, and would be a huge drop-off from Murphy for the Mets. If any complications arise, expect the Mets to quickly make a roster change, calling up either Matt Reynolds or Danny Muno to take over second base if Murphy is unable to go, leaving Tejada on the bench.

There is also talk of Murphy being moved down in the order, from his normal No.2 spot to the five-hole. It will be interesting to see if Murphy’s approach the plate changes as he will be in a prime run producing spot instead of one of a table setter. Murphy is as strong as they come at the plate, so it should not affect him too much. With the improvement of the Mets lineup overall, Murphy should still put up stats no matter where he is.

Next: Much Anticipated Debut