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Ryan McMahon is rolling again (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, June 12, 2023

The beginning of the 2023 season was not kind to Colorado Rockies’ 3B Ryan McMahon. Through 34 games, McMahon managed a .210/.286/.387 slash-line and unsavory 36.1% strikeout-rate, leading to a subpar 68 wRC+.

But once the team hit the road to play the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 8, McMahon seemed to start finding his groove at the plate. The series wasn’t overly impressive as went just 2-for-13 at the dish. But it was the initial signs of a hot streak forming, signs that proved true as RyMac has posted an impressive .944 OPS and 141 wRC+ over the past month.

The ebbs and flows with the bat is not uncharted territory for McMahon. A quick glance at the midpoint of 2022 shows a near 200-point OPS increase in August after a .681 figure in July. He kicked off the 2021 season with 16 HR and an .835 OPS through the first half of June before encountering a cold spell that ran through August, resulting in a 81 wRC+ over that stretch.

A mechanical tweak has been at the root of his latest stretch of success, one that Thomas Harding of shed light on in his latest newsletter:

“I sat down with Bam-Bam [hitting coach Hensley Meulens] and other coaches and watched some video,” McMahon said. “They noticed that my hands were kind of traveling with my hips, some basic sequencing stuff.”

Learning how to adjust both mentally and physically to turn the bad times around and keep the good times rolling has all been part of the process for McMahon. It hasn’t always been easy, but he has smoothed out some rough edges in the process with lessons learned over his first six big-league seasons.

“You don’t want to (talk about it) when you’re going bad. Like most of the time, you’re overthinking right? You’re worried about too many different things instead of focusing on what you do well.” said McMahon on Saturday.

“(When I’m on) I’m not thinking much. When I’m in there, my routine is short, I’m not searching for it in the cage. I know exactly what I want to do. I go in there and execute it. So if I can go in there and execute it quick, I know that it’s going to free me up...and I can go and play the actual game, right? Where you’re thinking about what’s he going to throw me next? What do I need to do in this situation?”

“It’s tough game, right? It can be just a tick off and that can send you a downward spiral. So the more you can free yourself up I think the better you’re going to be.”

The hard work has paid off for Mac, as he is now hanging around the top of the NL leader board with a 1.9 bWAR. Half of that figure is supported by his defense, which has always been a backbone of his impact as a player.

He still has the versatility of playing up-the-middle, but generally holds the starting job at 3B everyday for manager Bud Black. With his bat coming alive and his glove still top-notch along and Ezequiel Tovar gaining more and more experience as a starting big-league SS everyday, the left side of the Rockies’ infield feels like it is in safe hands for both the present and future.

Overall, McMahon’s season hasn’t jumped off the page as either good or bad. You can argue that sentiment is indicative to his career as a whole. Right now, he is riding another hot stretch that shows how impactful he can be with the bat, but history warns us he may not have unlocked a new level at the plate. While that remains to be seen, his baseline is a streaky hitter that will always be a net positive on the infield. Attributes that have made him a genuinely valuable piece for the past six seasons, this season, and up to four more before his contract runs out after 2027.

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The Rockies are calling up Coco Montes | Purple Row

Prior to Sunday’s game, the Rockies called-up INF Coco Montes from Triple-A Albuquerque. Montes’ big-league promotion is well deserved as he has posted a .321/.401/.560 slash-line with 26 extra-base hits for the Isotopes this season.

The move is one of multiple transactions for the club over the weekend. Alan Trejo was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move while Charlie Blackmon was placed on the 10-day IL with a fracture in his right hand. Catcher Brian Serven was recalled from Triple-A to take Blackmon’s spot on the roster, serving as the backup catcher after Elias Díaz was removed from Saturday’s game with possible concussion symptoms.

Colorado Rockies: The latest timetable on Kris Bryant’s return from injury | Call to the Pen

Manager Bud Black provided an update on the health of RF Kris Bryant before Saturday’s game, albeit one that did not provided a timeline for his return. “Kris is feeling a little better. The heel is improving,” Black said. “No timetable (for return). He’s getting closer to some baseball activities.”

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Pebble Report: June 5-11, 2023

There was a string of promotions in the system this week. Gabriel Hughes (No. 8 PuRP) made his first Double-A appearance against Somerset (NYY), while Blake Adams moved up to High-A Spokane to take Hughes’ spot in the rotation.

But the biggest was Coco Montes, who was called-up over the weekend and collected two hits in his major league debut on Sunday including a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning.

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (3-3, 24-39 overall)

The Isotopes struggled at home, losing five games in their series with Sugar Land (HOU). There were plenty of pitching woes on the mound as Noah Davis (No. 29 PuRP) was roughed-up in two starts and no starter was able to keep the Space Cowboys under five runs in their appearance. Karl Kauffmann (No. 23 PuRP) notched the top inning-total, going into the seventh. Hunter Stovall was one of the few offensive bright-spots, collecting a double and homer as part of his six hits — one behind team-leader Yonathan Daza’s seven.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (1-5, 24-32 overall)

It was a tough week at home for the Yard Goats, as they dropped five games against Somerset (NYY). Drew Romo (No. 4 PuRP) had a good week with the bat, posting a .400 average and 1.108 OPS with a homer and two doubles as part of his team-leading six hits. There was less good news on the mound, however. Hughes fared well in his debut with three runs allowed in five innings, but Nick Garcia struggled in his two starts, allowing nine runs and a whopping five home runs in 9 23 innings.

High-A: Spokane Indians (5-1, 31-25 overall)

The news was much better for the Indians on the road in Hillsboro (ARI), taking all but one game from the Hops. Adams was superb in his High-A debut, allowing one run over seven innings with six strikeouts to zero walks. The results were less ideal for Jaden Hill (No. 6 PuRP) and Brayan Castillo, who each allowed three runs in 23 of an inning with seven walks combined.

The bats more than made up for it, though. Adael Amador (No. 3 PuRP), Jordan Beck (No. 9 PuRP) and Benny Montgomery (No. 5 PuRP) each had terrific weeks. But none were better than Yanquiel Fernandez (No. 12 PuRP) who slugged another Player of the Week-caliber series. Fernandez finished with a triple, three doubles and three home runs, 13 RBI and a gigantic .393/.452/.893 slash line.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (5-1, 30-27 overall)

The Grizzlies had a terrific week, taking five-of-six at home against Lake Elsinore (SD). Ryan Ritter (HM PuRP) shined once against with four extra-base hits and a 1.192 OPS while Parker Kelly had an impressive series with three of his four hits going for extra bags.

But the unquestionable offensive star was newly-added Jamari Baylor, who was just acquired from the Philadelphia organization. Baylor made a terrific first impression with eight hits — three leaving the yard — and 12 RBI on his way to an absurd 1.953 OPS in six games. Michael Prosecky delivered the top start of the week with six shutout innings, allowing just two hits while registering nine strikeouts.

Week of 7/31-8/6 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/17 0 3 6 0
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 3/19 1 3 7 0
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 4/19 0 2 4 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 0 8 1 0
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 4/9 0 0 3 0
Michael Toglia 13 MLB 9/28 0 5 7 1
Sterlin Thompson 14 High-A 4/20 0 2 7 3
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 3/21 0 1 3 0
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 Double-A 3/12 1 1 4 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 5/22 1 3 12 0
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 6/23 0 1 4 1
Ryan Ritter HM High-A 7/19 0 0 10 0
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 3/17 0 1 6 0

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

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Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 6/13 - 6/18 @ Tacoma (SEA)

Double-A Hartford: 6/13 - 6/18 @ Reading (PHI)

High-A Spokane: 6/13 - 6/18 vs Eugene (SF)

Low-A Fresno: 6/13 - 6/18 vs Inland Empire (LAA)

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