NEW YORK (AP) The New York Mets activated infielder Daniel Murphy from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday night and put him in the cleanup spot, hoping he will bring a much-needed jolt to an offense that has had major difficulties scoring runs.
Murphy has been out with a left quadriceps strain since June 5. He will play third base with fellow All-Star David Wright still out with stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal column in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins inserted Murphy into the No. 4 spot against the Chicago Cubs.
''He's the guy now,'' Collins said. ''It's good to have an All-Star back in the middle of your lineup. I think it will help Cuddy (Michael Cuddyer), I think it will help Lucas (Duda).''
To make room for Murphy, the Mets optioned 21-year-old second baseman Dilson Herrera to Triple-A Las Vegas. Herrera was batting .195 with two homers and four RBIs in 82 at-bats.
An All-Star for the first time last year, Murphy was batting .283 with four homers and 29 RBIs in 55 games before he got hurt.
The Mets, 27th in runs scored this season, have won four straight. They recently scored just 15 runs in a 10-game span.
Murphy, though, is not making any promises of success, even after hitting .467 (7 for 15) on his minor league rehab assignment.
''I wish I could come in and tell you I'm going to get a whole bunch of base hits, I can't control that,'' Murphy said.
Also, with Murphy's return, Collins shuffled his infield, moving Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base and Ruben Tejada from third to shortstop.
''I think you get everybody in a spot that's comfortable,'' Collins said.