It’s been a rough year for the Colorado Rockies, but the 2023 All-Star Break is coming up in just over a week. It’ll be in Seattle this year, so if you’ve ever wanted to take a trip to the Emerald City, this might be a good excuse! The starters will be announced this evening at 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT on ESPN, and the full rosters will be announced on Sunday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. MT on ESPN.
Here is the full schedule of events:
- July 7: HBCU Swingman Classic at 10 p.m. on MLB Network
- July 8: MLB All-Star Futures Game at 7 p.m. MLB Network
- July 8: All-Star Celebrity Softball Game following Futures Game on ESPN
- July 10: MLB Home Run Derby at 8 p.m. on ESPN
- July 11: MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show at 2 p.m. on MLB Network
- July 11: MLB All-Star Game at 8 p.m. on FOX
With that said, it’s unlikely that the Rockies will have any starters for the third year in a row. However, there are two players making their cases to represent the Rockies in Seattle: Elias Díaz and Ryan McMahon. Currently, Sean Murphy (ATL) and Will Smith (LAD) lead the catchers race, while Nolan Arenado (STL) and Austin Riley (ATL) lead the pack for third basemen. How do Díaz and McMahon stack up against their competition?
Díaz is having a breakout year for the Rockies. So far, he is slashing .285/.342/.462 with 15 doubles, one triple and nine home runs across 71 games. He also broke the Rockies 258-game grand slam-less streak with a go-ahead bomb in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels, (Let’s just forget what happened in the next game.) It was his third career slam, and he became the ninth Rockies player in franchise history to hit a go-ahead slam in the eighth inning or later. The previous title holder was Charlie Blackmon, who hit a walk-off grand slam against the same Angels on September 11, 2020.
Here’s how Díaz directly stacks up against Murphy and Smith (as of 6/28):
Elias Díaz vs Sean Murphy vs Will Smith (6/28/23)
As you can see, Díaz is right up there with the two leaders and has played 10 more games in 2023 than Murphy has. If the Rockies are (likely) only going to have one All-Star in 2023, Díaz should be up for consideration.
Ryan McMahon should also be a contender. The third baseman was a Gold Glove finalist in 2021 and 2022 and has finally hit his stride in 2023. Between May 25 and last night, McMahon has slashed .342/.432/.649 with seven doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 22 RBI. His season-total 20 doubles are tied for seventh-most in the National League, and his 35 extra-base hits are tied for ninth-most. His 2.5 bWAR is tied for the highest among NL players with at least 75% of their games at third base, and his 10 DRS at third are tied for most at the position with Pittsburgh Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes (Sports Info Solutions).
Not bad, but how does McMahon stack up against Arenado and Riley?
Ryan McMahon vs Nolan Arenado vs Austin Riley (6/28/23)
As mentioned, McMahon had a bit of a slow start. He hit .212/.289/.371 with four homers and 19 RBI through May 24. Since then, however, he’s been a lot better, but it might put him at a bigger disadvantage at his position than Díaz. But, again, if the Rockies are (likely) going to have a singular All-Star, McMahon should also be up for consideration.
The Rockies have had a bad year, but the All-Star Game can be a bright spot. It’s especially fun for a first-time All-Star like Díaz or McMahon. So with that all being said, who should represent the Rockies in Seattle this year — Elias Díaz, Ryan McMahon, both or someone else?
Who should represent the Rockies at the 2023 All-Star Game?
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Last year’s All-Star could turn into this year’s trade chip, should the Rockies decide to make a deal ahead of the August 1 deadline. Thirty-three-year-old veteran C.J. Cron missed six weeks with a back injury, and went 0-for-3 in his first game back (he went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in last night’s contest). Because of his injury, though, and that of others on the team, the Rockies have been putting out younger and younger lineups out of necessity. Luckily, those players have been performing well (see: Ezequiel Tovar, Nolan Jones), so might that edge out Cron in favor of some starting pitching?
As mentioned above, both Ryan McMahon and Ezequiel Tovar have been having excellent seasons. The former should earn an All-Star nod for his effort, and perhaps the latter should be gaining more attention for Rookie of the Year honors. Patrick Saunders talked to Bud Black about the duo and what they mean to the Rockies present and future. They may not be Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, but they certainly are turning some heads!
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