Murphy beats odds, starts Opening Day

Murphy beats odds, starts Opening Day

WASHINGTON -- Once considered a long shot to play on Opening Day, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy made enough progress over the weekend to suit up alongside his teammates on Monday. Though the Mets will be careful with Murphy's right hamstring this week, perhaps giving him a game off in Atlanta, the team expects him to resemble his normal self.

"He wasn't doing 100-yard dashes down there, so you're never sure," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "But all indications are that he's ready to go."

Murphy, who strained the hamstring nearly three weeks ago, has not appeared in a Major League game since a March 19 Grapefruit League matchup. But he played eight innings in the field in a Minor League game on Friday with Alderson watching, then another four innings Saturday with a half-dozen at-bats. Feeling no discomfort in his leg, Murphy then flew up from Florida to meet his teammates in Washington.

"I always felt like I was going to have a pretty good chance, and then I was really, really blessed the last couple of days that I was in Port St. Lucie," he said. "It held up on me. I was able to open it up and test my hamstring and it felt good, so fortunately I was able to get going."

Health will be critical all season for Murphy, a 30-year-old who endured several major injuries early in his career, before becoming remarkably consistent in his late 20s. Over his last three seasons, Murphy has averaged 153 games, 650 plate appearances, nine home runs, 38 doubles and 15 stolen bases.

"Hopefully [I can] just go out and bust it, play the way I'm capable of, the way I feel like I always play, which is hard," Murphy said. "I think maybe in my experience I can pick and choose my spots a little better, so hopefully I can use that today a little bit, too."

• The Mets announced Monday that they have rescinded outfielder Cesar Puello's outright assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas, placing him instead on the 15-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his back. That means that Puello is back on the 40-man roster, with pitcher Josh Edgin moving to the 60-day DL.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.