Matt Murton is back

MLB: National League, Houston Astros vs Chicago Cubs, July 19, 2006.

Every now and then, you wake up to a news story that starts your day off right.

Today is one of those days, and Matt Murton is one of those stories.

Google Translate does a really shitty job of converting this article into English, but the general gist is that The Thunder has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs.

Murton was a fan favorite on the Cubs teams in the mid/late 2000’s.  From 2005 to 2007, he slashed .296/.365/.455 in 929 plate appearances, before being traded to the A’s in the Rich Harden deal in 2008 (Also traded away in that deal, reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson.  Fuck you Jim Hendry).

After bouncing around between the A’s and Rockies in ’08 and ’09, he landed with the Hanshin Tigers and put up a slash line of .310/.354/.438 in 3601 plate appearances from 2010-2015.  In 2010, he set the single season record in Japan for hits with 214, breaking Ichiro’s record.  I’m not sure if Murton still holds that record, maybe Ren can jump in with some extra details about The Thunder’s time in Japan…

Obviously the team is structured a bit differently than it was a decade ago, but I’d LOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEE to see Murton win a backup OF job in Spring Training.  The on-base skills certainly seem to be intact and while he was never exactly known as a defensive specialist, he’s probably better with the glove in LF than Schwarber is.

13 thoughts on “Matt Murton is back

  1. Here’s a special video of Murton during his time with Hanshin. His walk-off homerun against Seibu Lions starting submarine pitcher Kazuhisa Makita in 2013.

    Murton struggle last year due to some lingering lower back problem (he can’t give his 100% all-out performance that time), missing a few games but he was still there in the active roster. Haven’t heard of him heading to the DL though. Shogo Akiyama broke Murton’s hit record in the NPB last year, accumulating 216 hits while playing for the Seibu Lions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Junior Lake was never a fan favorite. I even got the impression that he wasn’t a management/ownership favorite either.


        1. Indeed it is. I’ve certainly got no problem with watching him get TOOTBLANed….which is my favorite baseball acronym and was created in “honor” of another former ex-Cub, Ryan Theriot.


        2. I knew that Theriot’s….um….baserunning prowess was responsible for someone coming up with TOOTBLAN….was Theriot a Cub when that happened. I can’t even remember if that was already a thing when he was sucking for the Cardinals.


        3. Yeah, that stat goes back to 2008. It actually started as a component of a larger formula – RTAOBP. The Ryan Theriot Adjusted On Base Percentage.

          (Hits+Walks+HBP-CS-Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop)/Plate Appearances (AB+BB+HBP+SF)


        4. Fella by the name of Tony Jewell.

          There was a bit of a debate at the time, with one side pointing to Theriot’s OBP and saying he wasn’t bad…and the other side pointing at everything else and saying he was. This particular formula was used to rebut the argument coming from the pro-Theriot camp.


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