"It's one of the hotter streaks that comes around in baseball, to hit eight home runs in 16 games and have a slugging percentage of [.839]," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "You ride it out and hope it continues. All this stuff, you're evaluating for next year and our needs and things like that. I think people forget how good a defense he's played over there. Right now, he's been an exceptional two-way player."
Murphy, 30, signed with the Cubs in April, and he spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, where he batted .265 and hit 12 home runs in 89 games.
His previous home run single-season high in the Majors was six, set in 2007 over 42 games with the Athletics. How do you explain the surge?
"He's been unfortunate to have a lot of injuries," Sveum said. "Injuries don't help anything. Getting the opportunity on an everyday basis, you have a kid with bat speed who can hit the ball over the fence in right-center field right-handed, you always sit back and wonder what happens if the guy was to get 650 plate appearances playing every day. Those things will happen when they stay healthy. A lot of times they just need the opportunity to do it."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.