Colorado Rockies: Ryan McMahon discusses early season slump
Colorado Rockies rookie Ryan McMahon hasn’t had the best start to the 2018 season, but the former second-round pick is hoping (and working) to snap out of his slump sooner rather than later.
When the Rockies selected Ryan McMahon with the 42nd pick in the 2013 amateur draft, they were hoping to now have their third baseman of the future. The Rockies didn’t quite know what they had in Nolan Arenado, but the franchise quickly realized that the third base position would be covered for many years to come.
During his time in Double-A with the Hartfords Yard Goats, and in Triple-A with the Albuquerque Isotopes, McMahon has grown into the Rockies version of the Swiss army knife. McMahon has learned to play not just third, but first base and second base as well. In his time with the Isotopes last season, McMahon started 36 games at first, 24 games at second, and just 13 games at first. So far in the 2018 season, McMahon has played in 15 games for the Rockies, with 11 off those games coming at first and four of those games coming at third. McMahon’s time spent at the hot corner was during the time when Arenado was serving his five-game suspension for his “scuffle” with the San Diego Padres.
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Something McMahon proved last season in Triple-A was that he could hit. McMahon hit for an average of .374 last season and slugged 14 home runs to go along with his 56 RBI. This earned McMahon a September call-up where he posted a .158 batting average in just 24 plate appearances.
So far, however, McMahon’s 2018 campaign hasn’t started great at the plate. After earning an Opening Day roster spot, McMahon is hitting just .133 in 45 at-bats so far this season. The slump hasn’t rattled McMahon though, and he’s destined to snap out of it sooner rather than later.
"“Yeah, you go through it before,” McMahon told Rox Pile’s Jake Shapiro in an exclusive interview. “I know I’m going to get out of it sooner or later. I’m just trying work at it and figure it out so I can get over it as quickly as possible.”"
The quicker the better for a Rockies team that’s looking for a spark in their lineup from anyone not named Arenado, Blackmon, Story or LeMahieu. McMahon could be that spark and he’s certainly had the opportunity with plenty of plate appearances in the early parts of the season. In order for McMahon to get back to the player he was at the plate last season, it might be just more consistency.
"“Yeah a little bit. Still working on some things, trying to get back to doing some things that I do well. I haven’t been doing those very consistently. But, yeah I’m feeling better. I feel like I’m making strides.”"
Luckily for McMahon, he has a number of veterans in the Rockies clubhouse who can be leaned upon for guidance. McMahon leaned heavily on former Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy last season for guidance, and it’s something he’s trying to emulate this season with a couple of different teammates.
"“Not anybody like constantly. I’ve talked to Nolan, talked to Desmond, talked to Charlie and they all do their thing. You know you’re trying to take tidbits from them, But, I swing different from all those guys, they all swing different then me, and they all swing different from each other. So, I’m not picking anybody’s brain too hard, but I’m definitely listening.”"
If McMahon is able to follow in any of those guys footsteps, then the Rockies could be in for a spark when #24’s bat finally gets hot. The Rockies aren’t asking McMahon to be the bonafide slugger he was in Triple-A last season. They just want him to be a consistent piece in their lineup who can contribute day in and day out. One thing is for sure though, and it’s that McMahon would love to stay up with the Rockies for the rest of the career, and hopefully avoid any more of those minor league bus trips in the process.
Next: Looking at Bryan Shaw's early-season struggles
"“Oh yeah, it’s way better than the minor leagues. No more bus trips.”"