(Eds: Updates.) By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer Only two players have appeared in more games for the Texas Rangers than David Murphy over the past six seasons.
Yet for the first time this spring, Murphy arrived in Arizona without the tag as the Rangers' fourth outfielder. He instead will be the everyday left fielder, a distinction that hasn't changed his approach.
''I've never been in this position before, so I think I'm looking at it like any other spring,'' Murphy said. ''It's a performance-based sport, and I think you could assume the position's being given to me because I was successful last year. But my performance still needs to be there, so I'm not taking anything for granted.''
Murphy played 147 games last year, with 118 starts in the outfield and seven more as the designated hitter. The left-handed hitter had a .304 average with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs, including an impressive .347 clip against left-handed pitchers.
''It was a step in the right direction,'' he said...