Colorado Rockies youngsters succeeding behind regular playing time
DENVER – David Dahl is making his fourth straight start for the Colorado Rockies on Thursday evening to begin a season-swinging four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aside for his crazy travel day on Sunday, Dahl has started everyday since his recall.
Fellow youngster Ryan McMahon started twice in a row earlier in the week and a run of four straight starts early last week.
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Both the outfielder Dahl and the utility infielder McMahon have once been top prospects in the Rockies system. While both have different stories behind their early struggles, each of them have found a commonality in their consistency.
"“Just going down (to Triple-A) there getting reps and finding my swing,” McMahon said.“Just getting those at-bats,” Dahl said."
It’s the theme for both and it underscores why it’s so hard for younger players or even veterans at times (for instance, Carlos Gonzalez mentioned this to me as well) to adapt from being everyday players to role players.
The game is played over such a long stretch of time so the approach changes when you know you will see all of that, rather than the game being played in a single at bat or inning, as it was for Dahl and McMahon at times earlier this season.
Since their recalls, McMahon is 9-for-26 with a .346/.433/.500 slash line with two homers and four RBI and Dahl is 4-for-12 with a .333/.429/.667 slash line.
"“BP and the game are so different and BP (batting practice) was all I really had for a while,” McMahon recalled. “I wasn’t getting a lot of at-bats. I had BP to go off and you can get away with bad habits in BP.”"
With the benefit of everyday at-bats, both Dahl and McMahon could come up huge for the Rockies down the stretch as left field and first base have not only been the most disappointing positions on the team (with the struggles of Gerardo Parra and, to a lesser extent of late, Ian Desmond) but two of the worst in all of baseball. Each could fill in and provide the Rockies with everyday value in those spots as well as having the opportunity to show their abilities when their chance comes.