NEW YORK—A rundown between third base and home plate this spring detoured Daniel Murphy out of the basepath and, as it happened, out of a job.
Preparing to reprise his role as starting first baseman, Murphy suffered a strained ligament in his knee that day, costing him a chance to begin the season with the big league club.
In Murphy's absence, rookie Ike Davis earned a quick promotion from Triple-A Buffalo and went on to smash 19 homers as a rookie to assert himself at first base.
Murphy, 25, made his way back to the field in late May and began a transition to second base, a position where he had scant experience. Drafted as a third baseman in 2006, the 13th-rounder from Jacksonville played mostly first and left field in the majors.
Murphy appeared in two games at second for Buffalo before an injury knocked him out for the year. He tore the medial collateral ligament in his knee during a nasty collision on a double-play pivot.
After a four-month recovery, Murphy attended instructional league before leaving to play in the Dominican League, where he'll continue his learning curve at second base.
"He asked us to go," farm director Adam Wogan said. "He asked (field coordinator) Terry Collins whether he could come to the instructional league. It takes a whole lot of humility to come in and make that request.
"It's great to let our other players see the work ethic. It's been great."
Murphy has spent countless hours working with infield coordinator Kevin Morgan on the intricacies of second base.
"We have an agreement with the (DL general manager) that four days a week he can play second base," Wogan said, "and he's committed in his mind to playing there.
Wogan said that Murphy can expect to see time at first, third and even the outfield, adding, "He's totally healthy now and that's what's important. He has no restrictions and is playing full-go."
• The Mets removed righthander Josh Stinson from their Arizona Fall League contingent, determining that with 138 innings he had reached his limit for the season.
• The Mets full AFL roster: righthanders Nick Carr and Brad Holt, lefties Robert Carson and Eric Niesen, catcher Kai Gronauer, shortstop Jordany Valdespin and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.