MIAMI -- For Donnie Murphy, it feels like 2010 all over again. That's a good sign, because Murphy is completely healthy, and giving the type performance off the bench he did when he joined the Marlins two years ago. With second baseman Omar Infante resting a strained left groin on Thursday, Murphy is getting the nod at second. In Wednesday's 9-1 win over the Cubs, the veteran utility player belted a two-run homer, legged out a double on a heads-up play, and made a couple of nice plays in the field.
"You create confidence," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "To have the type of game he had was awesome. It's good for him, too, creates confidence. It's not easy coming off the bench." Providing a spark off the bench is nothing new for Murphy, but it's been a while since he's been fully healthy. In September 2010, he dislocated his left wrist, requiring surgery. Although he was the Marlins' Opening Day third baseman in 2011, his wrist was never at full strength and he spent much of the season on the disabled list. "It's nice showing up to the park every day, not trying to figure out, 'Does it feel good today, or does it not feel good today?'" Murphy said. "Now I know that I can go to the park feeling 100 percent healthy, knowing that my wrist has no limitations on it." In 2010, Murphy appeared in 29 games and batted .318. A year ago, the 29-year-old struggled, batting .185 in 36 games. Guillen plans on using his bench heavily, and he understands the difficulty of making an impact with limited playing time. "I don't expect a lot from them, because it's not easy," Guillen said. "But when those guys contribute, the way he did [Wednesday], defensively, baserunning, at bat. That's something you're not going to see every day. But you appreciate that."