Surprise, Arizona — Ryan McMahon is competing for the starting Colorado Rockies second base job this spring. Right now, he is doing plenty to show just why the job should be his.
Starting at third base with Nolan Arenado working back at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Ryan McMahon went 2-for-3 on Monday afternoon as the Colorado Rockies tied the Texas Rangers, 4-4. McMahon doubled with two outs in the first, ripping a deep shot to right-center and followed that with a single to lead off the fourth inning, eventually scoring on Raimel Tapia‘s two-run double.
Monday’s effort stretched McMahon’s current hitting streak to five games. During that run, McMahon is 7-for-11 with a home run, three doubles, a triple and five runs scored. He’s also worked the count for a pair of walks. Overall this spring, he leads the Rockies with nine hits and is batting .500 (9-for-18) in nine games. He is tied with Pat Valaika for the team lead in bases totaled with 17.
"“I trust my approach right now. Those things add up, consistency of sticking with it and trusting it,” McMahon said after Monday’s game. “The best feeling in the world is squaring the baseball up, I think. That’s all you’re looking for in the spring, who can square it up and feel good. I’m definitely taking confidence with that.”"
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This year represents another strong spring for McMahon, who logged a .319/.365/.522 slash line last spring in 69 at-bats as he made his first-ever Opening Day roster. But the Rockies are noticing a difference between 2018 McMahon and 2019 McMahon.
"“Last year, there were some hits that you might say aren’t the quality of this year. He’s ripping the ball,” Colorado manager Bud Black said “He’s taking big, aggressive swings and the ball is coming off his bat hot. He’s hitting it to all fields. It’s been impressive what Mac has done so far.”"
The 24-year-old McMahon also had a heads up play in the field in the bottom of the third inning, gloving a throw from right fielder Mike Tauchman and firing to second as shortstop Valaika arrived in time to tag out Ben Revere as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
"“That was a good play,” Black said. “Tauchman is a good fundamental player. Mac made a nice read on that and got the ball back to second base. A lot of our young guys are fundamentally sound. I love that about them.”"