Looking ahead: Murphy's April struggles continue

David Murphy's April struggles are nothing new. He has a career .228 batting average for the first month of the season (including a few regular season games in March).

The spotlight shines brighter on Murphy as the regular starter in left field. He is batting .176 as the Rangers get set for the final game in April on Tuesday at home against the Chicago White Sox.

Murphy is having his roughest first month since the 2010 season when he had six hits in 37 at-bats for a .162 batting average. He's never had more than two home runs in April. He has seven RBIs, half of his best April total of 14 in 2008.

Murphy started poorly this season and things haven't improved. He hasn't been above .200 since he was 1-for-3 in the opener against Houston. He was 3-for-24 on the Rangers' recent road trip to Anaheim and Minnesota.

This isn't about starting against left-handed pitching full time. Murphy is batting 57 points worse against right-handers. He enters Tuesday with a .155 batting average against righties; he's at .212 against lefties.

Some of it is bad luck. Murphy only has 15 strikeouts in 91 at-bats. He also has six walks, giving him a .295 on-base percentage.

Whatever is happening, the Rangers look for things to improve in May. Murphy faces a tough start to the month with two of the top left-handers in the American League, the White Sox's Chris Sale and the Red Sox's Jon Lester, set to pitch against the Rangers on this homestand.