Murphy is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Royals. Murphy has been on a tear to start his big-league career, hitting .400/.438/.967 with four homers in his first 10 games. Josh Phegley will start behind the plate in his absence.
Murphy is assured of a spot on the Athletics' postseason roster, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. The rookie's locked-in playoff ticket stems from a combination of his stellar efforts since joining the Athletics and the fact he'd be the only other catcher besides Josh Phegley on the current roster available for postseason play. Beau Taylor, who Oakland brought back via a waiver claim last Tuesday after his recent release from the Blue Jays, is not eligible for the playoffs due to the fact he was not with the team by Aug. 31.
Murphy is not in Saturday's lineup against the Rangers. He is hitting .409 (9-for-22) with four home runs and three doubles in his first eight big-league games, but the A's will continue to give him rest days after he missed significant time with knee injuries this season. Josh Phegley will start behind the dish and hit ninth.
Murphy, who is hitting .333 across his first 19 major-league plate appearances, will nevertheless have his workload monitored closely by manager Bob Melvin, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Murphy endured two separate stints on the injured list due to knee issues with Triple-A Las Vegas this past minor-league season, so the Athletics naturally want to be careful with their prized prospect, especially considering he plays a position as physically demanding as catcher. The solid season turned in by veteran Josh Phegley affords Melvin plenty of flexibility behind the plate, and the recent return of Beau Taylor on a waiver claim provides Oakland's skipper with another option.
Murphy went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in a win over the Astros on Wednesday. Murphy connected for his fourth major-league homer in the sixth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit. The rookie backstop has impressively left the yard in three of his last nine at-bats across the last two games, quickly corroborating the power profile he flashed at Triple-A Las Vegas this season wasn't just a byproduct of the Pacific Coast League's hitter-friendly conditions.
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