ARLINGTON -- A career .258 hitter against left-handed pitchers, David Murphy batted .215 without a home run in 107 at-bats against southpaws last season.
This year, the left-handed-hitting Murphy was batting .333 (11-for-33) against lefties, while hitting .264 against righties entering Monday. Murphy, who usually only starts when the Rangers face righty starters, feels comfortable against left-handed pitching but thinks this season's sample size is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.
"I think I can hit lefties," Murphy said. "I don't really think there's any reason to analyze the splits unless the number of at-bats are close to equal, and they're not even close at this point. I don't think there's reason for a comparison right now."
Murphy understands why he occasionally doesn't get an opportunity to face a left-hander late in games, especially considering how productive the right-handed-hitting Craig Gentry, who boasts a team-best .344 batting average against southpaws, has been at the plate this year.
"I understand the role that I'm going to play," Murphy said. "More than anything, it's not my lack of ability. It's how well Craig has done that has dictated the moves made when I've been pinch-hit for. He always gets it done. There's no reason for an argument. I've always been the type of player that trusts my coaching staff."