Though Collins said all spring that he would hesitate to shift Murphy from second base this season, David Wright's finger injury may precipitate exactly such a move.
Murphy admitted on Friday that he is not the team's best option at second base, quipping, "We've all got eyeballs."
As for third base, his natural position, Murphy said that he would need just a few practice reps to reacquaint himself.
"I feel comfortable there," he said. "I haven't taken ground balls over there, but I definitely feel comfortable over at third base. I'll talk to T.C. and if he writes it, I'll go."
Collins originally did not want Murphy to stray from second because, with Wright entrenched at third and Ike Davis at first, there did not appear to be much of an avenue for Murphy to play anywhere else on a permanent basis. But the Mets are also in the business of winning games, and Murphy's natural position is at third.
Both Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno, meanwhile, boast far more experience at second. If Wright is out, one of them is going to be in the lineup anyway.
Might as well put Murphy at third, then, Collins reasons, which is a stronger position for him.
"I've got to get better," Murphy said of his defense at second base. "Our pitchers are doing a good job throwing double-play balls, and I've got to rock them. It's come a long way, but each time I drop one of those things on the ground, I realize how far I have to go to get as consistent as I want to be."