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Ryan McMahon’s defense has taken a step back in 2022

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, May 23, 2022

Last year, it was as if Ryan McMahon would do no wrong on the defensive side of the ball.

Splitting time between second and third base, McMahon seemed to be a more than capable replacement for the recently departed multiple time Gold Glover, Nolan Arenado. RyMac ended the 2021 season as a finalist for the prestigious award at third, eventually getting beat out by his former teammate, but it was not for lack of trying - McMahon led not only the hot corner but the entire league in defensive runs saved (DRS) for 2021.

This year, unfortunately, has been a different story.

To start with the simplest fielding statistic, McMahon already has totaled eight errors during his 39 games at third base. Last year, he had five total errors in 113 games, and just seven total when you add in his additional time at second. His total this year puts him at the top of a league leaderboard for a category you do not want to be in.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, the Pirates shortstop who put up another impressive season defensively in 2021, also seems to be taking a step back, sitting right behind McMahon the MLB-wide errors committed list for 2022. However, defensive stats still seem to be a work in process, and Hayes’ other defensive metrics back this up. He’s currently leading the Majors in DRS (totaling 7, per Fangraphs) despite having notably bad traditional defensive statistics. McMahon, unfortunately, isn’t enjoying the same polarization. To go with his gaudy error total, he has just one DRS on the year, falling quickly behind his pace of twenty-two total for the year prior.

His other advanced stats paint a similarly less rosy picture. Outs above average at third base? -1, compared to 10 total last year. Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR)? 0.1 at third base, a current career low level. For McMahon, he’s sure hoping this turns around sooner rather than later.

For the Rockies, they hope this turns around sooner than later too. League wide, the team has the third most errors committed currently, and sit in third to last in terms of their fielding percentage. Of the bottom five teams (Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Nationals, and Orioles), none has a winning record, and while Colorado and Arizona look potentially surprising, no team looks promising.

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Rockies slugger C.J. Cron is doing stuff at first base that Coors Field hasn’t seen since Todd Helton’s heyday | The Denver Post

Forget just being an All-Star, C.J. Cron’s 2022 is lining up to be a season for the ages. Currently third in the NL in batting average, second in RBI, and leading the league in home runs, Cron has both Denver and the country at large dreaming of a potential Triple Crown winner. The Post’s Sean Keeler takes a closer look at Cron’s All-Star candidacy, comparing his 2022 season to the great Todd Helton himself, who was the last Rockies first baseman to put up an OPS of .900 or higher for an entire year, way back in 2009. Cron’s OPS so far? 0.994, with no signs of slowing down.

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On the Farm

Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees 8, Albuquerque Isotopes 1

The Isotopes dropped the series finale to the Bees (LAA) Sunday. Tim Lopes knocked two hits and had an RBI, but the offense was lackluster otherwise as Albuquerque couldn’t keep up with Salt Lake. Peter Lambert started the game on the mound for his second appearance back from injury and threw a scheduled two innings, striking out two against a walk and a hit. The bullpen relieved him and could not maintain the same success, giving up seven runs in the sixth and seventh inning. Ryan Vilade (no. 2 PuRP) was one for four with a single. The ‘Topes have an off-day Monday but then continue their season Tuesday, welcoming the Round Rock Express (TEX) for another series.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 8, Bowie Baysox 7

The Yard Goats continued their strong week against the Baysox (BAL), taking the season finale in a come-from-behind effort. Michael Toglia (no. 7 PuRP) had two- and three-run homers in a five RBI performance. Niko Decolati added two hits and two RBIS to aid the offense in conjunction with a shutdown bullpen. Fineas Del Bonta-Smith, Blair Calvo, and PJ Poulin combined to throw three scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing just two hits between the three. The Yard Goats will now travel to Virginia for a series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels (SFG), starting Tuesday evening.

High-A: Spokane Indians 9, Eugene Emeralds 7

Rolling through the halfway point of their latest homestand, the Indians knocked off the Eugene Emeralds (SFG) to take five of six games in the series. No. 1 PuRP Zac Veen had a walk, double, and two-run homer to lead Spokane offensively, while Austin Kitchen earned his third win of the season in relief of Andrew Quezada. Colin Simpson and Ronaiker Palma both also added multiple hit games, with the former smacking a two-run homer and the latter adding an RBI single. Spokane continues their homestand starting Tuesday against the Everett Aquasox (SEA).

Single-A: Fresno Grizzlies 10, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 1

Fresno made it a three for four day on the Rockies affiliate slate Sunday, also taking their fifth of six from Rancho Cucamonga (LAD). It was a hit parade up and down the lineup - in order of batting lineup, Adael Amador (no. 17 PuRP), Braiden Ward, Braxton Fulford, Juan Brito, Juan Guererro, and Trevor Boone all tallied at least two hits. Boone brough the power on the day, knocking a double and his third home run on the year. Mason Greene threw seven innings of shutout, one-hit ball, eventually earning his third win of the year. Next up, the Grizzlies will play host to the Stockton Ports (OAK) starting tomorrow.

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