Murphy satisfied he'll still get playing time

Murphy satisfied he'll still get playing time

HOUSTON -- David Murphy started in right field on Saturday night for the Rangers. Vladimir Guerrero will start there on Sunday. Nelson Cruz (torn hamstring muscle) will be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday.

At that point, Murphy will be back in his role as a fourth outfielder. That was his role coming out of Spring Training, but he still has had plenty of playing time. Saturday was his 41st start out of 68 games. He is sixth on the team with 176 at-bats.

"I'm getting my chance to contribute," Murphy said. "Going forward from here ... I guess we're going back to the beginning. We'll see what happens. But I'm as happy as anybody Nelson is coming back. Our offense will be clicking and he's a huge part of it."

Murphy went into Saturday's game hitting .333 in his past 10 games and .318 in his past 19 games.

"He has been as important as anybody in that lineup," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He has got big hits and big walks and he plays great defense. He fits in perfectly. We're very fortunate to have David Murphy. He's a good teammate, a guy who is always ready. He doesn't complain. He just plays baseball."

Cruz was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his first game on a rehabilitation assignment on Friday night with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He is expected to play Saturday and Sunday and, if all goes well, rejoin the Rangers on Tuesday.