Athletics catcher Sean Murphy had a slow start to the season, and rightfully so. He sustained a collapsed lung during the offseason and underwent two surgeries to have it fixed.
He’s now showing off the power at the plate the A’s are used to seeing. Murphy homered for the second time in as many games Tuesday, crushing a solo home run to left center in the bottom of the ninth against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I think it’s just the at-bats,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said following the A’s 4-3 loss to the Rays. “He’s finally getting some at-bats under his belt and getting on a little bit of a roll. Just got a late start out of spring training and didn’t have some of the at-bats that some of our guys did going into the season.”
Murphy's collapsed lung was a bit of a “weird” thing that happened, as the catcher described it. It turned out to be a scary thing.
“It just sometimes happens,” Murphy said back in February. He then calmly described how he needed to undergo the surgery to “make sure my lung didn’t collapse and kill me basically.”
Murphy was very straightforward and firm about the situation, which was admirable.
Before the start of this series against the Rays, Murphy batted just .152 in his first 15 games. The 26-year-old had 16 strikeouts and only one home run before Monday.
Showing signs of his 2020 self, Murphy is 3-for-8 over his last two games. His homer Tuesday at Tropicana Field traveled 454 feet with an exit velocity of 112.8 mph.
Murphy received fourth-place votes in AL Rookie of the Year Award honors last season after slashing .233/.364/.457 with seven home runs and 27 hits in 43 games.
“We know what he’s capable of doing,” Melvin added.