Thursday, May 16, 2024

McMahon of the House


When Ryan McMahon began the 2018 season as the Rockies' starting 1st baseman, we were all figuring it would be the next step in the team's dominance. Famously, the Rockies started Trevor Story at short out of camp in 2016, he got off to an incredible start and became a mainstay for the team. By 2018, the Rockies had Arenado, Blackmon, Story, LeMahieu and that young, trusty rotation, and were gearing up for a strong year that would eventually bring former World Series hero Matt Holliday to join them for a playoff run. McMahon was considered one of the last pieces the team needed to prove their worth.

It didn't happen. McMahon had a dismal start, only hitting .232 in 91 games that season, and mostly being relegated to a bit player. The Rockies' 2018 playoff run flamed out somewhat quickly. And after a while, nearly everybody left.

And as the Rockies attempt to jumpstart a new young team, Ryan McMahon is still there, as one of the last bastions of what once was. And thankfully he's still awesome. So far he's the standout of the lineup, hitting .308 with 48 hits, 22 RBIs and 6 homers. He's a varied enough player to be known for his defensive play as well as being a consistent plate producer for this team, and since 2021 he's been one of their most crucial players. The Rockies thankfully have McMahon signed until 2027, and though many symbols of the early 2020s teams, such as Charlie Blackmon, Elias Diaz and Daniel Bard, might be done in Denver after this season, McMahon's gonna stick around and continue to be the foundation of the team.

To this team's credit, there has been some progress other than McMahon's start. Brendan Rodgers has taken longer to come back than the team has liked, but he's finally getting his average back up. Brenton Doyle and Ezequiel Tovar are looking like they have staying power, and Tovar especially is doing a lot of things right at the moment. Austin Gomber, Cal Quantrill and surprisingly Ty Blach have been consistent starting options. Gomber especially is having a great year, although I think about Daniel Bard in 2022 and sometimes the other shoe needs to drop. The Diaz/Stallings battery is still working really well and making the Marlins catching battery look even worse [considering that Stallings left there at the right time]. And as I write this, the Rockies have won 6 straight, including a sweep of the defending champion Texas Rangers, and a shutout rout of the San Diego Padres just yesterday.

So even for a last place team, there's a lot about the Rockies that can work, and that can provide wins. I don't expect them to suddenly become competitive, but there have been worse Rockies teams, and they're at least improving from last year, which is all you need to do.

Coming Tomorrow- The latest rookie from a team whose farm system is really having a moment.

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