Rob Neyer makes the call–David Murphy should play right field tonight for the Rangers, not our boy Vlad:
Is Murphy a great hitter? No. He is adequate. He’s got a career .288/.354/.487 line against right-handed pitchers. Which (again) isn’t great.
It’s not nearly as good as Vladimir Guerrero’s, which shouldn’t be a surprise.
But Guerrero is old. Well, actually he’s middle-aged. It’s his knees that are old. Whichever parts of his body you prefer, he simply isn’t the hitter he once was. Guerrero’s got a .301/.349/.501 line against righties over the past three seasons. Toss in Guerrero’s 35 birthdays (compared to 29 for Murphy), and it’s very, very, very difficult to convincingly argue that Guerrero, right now, is a measurably better hitter than Murphy.