NEW YORK -- Shortly after Tuesday's game ended, Daniel Murphy met with third-base coach Tim Teufel for an extra half hour of defensive work. Consider it penance for Murphy's performance in the game, which saw the second baseman botch three consecutive double-play attempts.
Yet Murphy's early struggles at second base may soon become moot if David Wright lands on the disabled list with a fractured right pinkie. If Wright is sidelined for any significant length of time, the Mets are leaning toward plugging Murphy back into his natural position at third.
Though Collins said during Spring Training that he was hesitant to shift Murphy away from second base, he would do so if the timeframe is long enough.
"Absolutely no disrespect intended, but he's a guy who's learning to play second base, and I know he can play third," Collins said. "So if David's out for an extended period of time, I think Dan would be a lot more comfortable playing third than he is playing second."
The Mets won't know for sure until Friday, when they will decide whether to place Wright on the DL. But in theory, a switch to third base for Murphy would allow the Mets to improve their infield defense without changing personnel.
"Hopefully we don't have to decide it," Collins said. "What it comes down to for me is, when David's in the lineup, I like our defense. If he's not in the lineup, how do we improve it?"