Mets now labeling Daniel Murphy DL candidate

JUPITER, Fla. -- After expressing optimism only a few days earlier, New York Mets officials now sound like Daniel Murphy is more likely to open the season on the disabled list.

Murphy pulled his right hamstring eight days ago.

"Look, any hamstring is typically a minimum of a couple of weeks," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "For him to come back sooner than roughly Opening Day would be a little surprising. But given the way he felt -- and the fact that it was a very mild strain -- it's still a possibility he will be ready. I don't think it's anything we can predict right now."

Alderson indicated that Murphy will not appear in Grapefruit League action next week if he is able to re-enter games then. If Murphy is confined to minor league games, the Mets can backdate his 15-day DL stint nine days into spring training. That would mean Murphy could miss as few as the first six days of the regular season and be eligible to be activated for the April 12 road-trip finale in Atlanta.

Murphy resumed running on Thursday.

"He's running out of time," manager Terry Collins said. "... We don't have a lot of time. I'm going to talk to Dan tomorrow. We don't have a lot of time to get him ready. I got word of what he did today, and we certainly have to speed it up a little bit. So I'm getting a little concerned he's not going to have enough time."

Asked precisely what Murphy did on Friday back at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Collins said: "He didn't do enough."

Although Collins has mentioned Ruben Tejada as a starting second-base candidate, Alderson reiterated Friday that the considerations are Matt Reynolds and Danny Muno. Although not set in stone, a team official recently painted Reynolds as the more likely choice if Murphy landed on the DL and a starting opportunity existed. Muno would be the favorite if a bench role would be available, since the Mets want Reynolds regularly playing somewhere. Reynolds otherwise is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to be the starting shortstop.

Reynolds is hitting .378 with two homers and six RBIs in Grapefruit League play. Muno is hitting .390 with one homer and five RBIs.