David Murphy: 'I had a lot of great years here'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- David Murphy didn't make a wrong turn to the visiting clubhouse on Friday. He knew he wasn't walking into Globe Life Park as a member of the Texas Rangers anymore. Perhaps the fact that he met the media in the visiting dugout was another reminder.

But he admitted that it was going to feel odd playing against the team that was his home squad for so long.

"I had a lot of great years here and a lot of great memories," Murphy said prior to Friday's opener of a four-game set between the Rangers and Indians. "Walking out of the clubhouse and down the tunnel is weird. Change is pretty much inevitable in this game. There are some superstars that are fortunate enough to stay with one club for a long time, but most guys are going to at least play for a few teams over the course of their careers. It was going to happen eventually, and I'm very happy where I'm at. I know I'm in the right place."

Murphy said he had no hard feelings about the way things ended in Texas. He said general manager Jon Daniels called him as the offseason got going and while he didn't fully close the door, it was clear the club was headed in a different direction.

"I play a position as a corner outfielder where you need to be productive offensively," Murphy said. "Coming off a bad year, they needed to upgrade the offense, and our offense was pretty inconsistent last year. They went out and made some moves. I wasn't surprised I wasn't back. I would have obviously welcomed it."

It was an honest assessment from a player who hit just .220 in 2013 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 142 games (476 plate appearances). Things have improved dramatically for Murphy this year in an Indians uniform. He's batting .280 with five homers and 34 RBIs for a team that is, like Texas, 30-30 on the season.

Murphy must now face Yu Darvish rather than play behind him, something he knows will be a challenge.

"You know everything is going to be plus-plus coming out of his hand tonight," Murphy said. "You study the scouting report, but at the same time once you step in the box, things are completely different. You have to go through a game plan and adjust on the fly.

"I think you could tell he was the real deal pretty quickly into his major league career and he's got a chance to be a great major league pitcher for a long time as long as he stays healthy."