5) Ryan McMahon’s defense
This was the most egregious one of the weekend.
On Friday, after Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm hit an infield single to Ryan McMahon, who was playing third base and did not misplay the ball and didn’t have a play on Bohm anyway, Amaro Jr. said this.
"“He’s not a great defender and he’s one of those guys that they’re still trying to find out what his best position is but they’ve gotta keep that bat in the lineup right now,” said Amaro Jr."
Huh? What? There are so many things with that one sentence to unpack.
First off, he’s a very good defender. Entering Friday, he was leading the NL in defensive WAR and was in the top handful of players by Defensive Runs Saved (6 DRS with three at second base and three at third base, per Baseball-Reference, entering Friday).
Secondly, the Rockies know and have already said that third base is his best position. McMahon has long said that he will play anywhere as long as he can play every day. The only reason why he is playing second base some is that Brendan Rodgers is injured so, when Josh Fuentes plays third, McMahon plays second base.
The thing that was concerning entering the season for McMahon was his bat. Could he cut down the chase rate, the strikeout rate, boost the walk rate, and replace Nolan Arenado at third base? Not all of that has happened for him so far in 2021 but he has been, arguably, the most consistent at-bat in the Rockies order in 2021.
When Arenado was injured in 2020, who moved to third base? Ryan McMahon. Who still played nearly every day despite having poor results at the plate? Ryan McMahon. Why did he play nearly every game? His defense.
Amaro Jr., half-heartedly, doubled down on this on a force out in the 5th inning.
"“Nice play there by McMahon,” said Amaro Jr. “He’s not the greatest defender but he must be working on some things because he made a very good range play.”"