Inbox: How will Rox use McMahon this year?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers questions from fans

February 8th, 2019

How do you see being utilized this season?
-- @moose_tography

McMahon had a steep learning curve early last year as a rookie but was a contributor as a left-handed bat off the bench during the second half. Part of the route to regular playing time is returning to the strong numbers against right-handers that he showed in the Minor Leagues.
In 2017, McMahon hit righties at a .379 clip with 18 home runs in 133 Double-A and Triple-A games. But last season in the Majors, he actually hit lefties (.323/.447/.548 in 38 plate appearances) better than righties (.213/.274/.340 in 164 plate appearances).
McMahon will compete with right-handed hitters (No. 4 Rockies prospect, according to MLB Pipeline), (No. 1 Rockies prospect, No. 10 overall) and for playing time at second base. McMahon also can play first or third base when or need a day off.
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With Spring Training starting next week, it's more likely than not that the Rockies are sticking with and . Both are valued for their work with pitchers but have room for offensive improvement.
Iannetta said during last season he felt out of sync offensively, and he finished with a .224 batting average. He had solid production in the final month (.265/.438/.469 in 22 games) and ended up playing 99 games at catcher -- about what was planned when he signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract.
Wolters' season is best remembered for his 13th-inning RBI single that produced a 2-1 victory over the Cubs in the National League Wild Card Game, but he hit .170 in 74 regular-season games.

Knowing that even modest offense could earn him more playing time, Wolters has spent the offseason addressing his approach and a swing that saw the bat pull out of the zone too quickly.
Last season, longtime prospect ran into struggles offensively and defensively, but he still has a chance to have an impact.

The universal designated hitter is one of the reported back-and-forth proposals between MLB and the MLB Players Association, and none of the suggestions have been adopted.
With the Rockies likely to have a payroll around $140 million, I can't see a big expenditure. One idea would be creating a roster spot for or , or maybe both. Another idea, should Murphy swing to his potential, would be to keep him as a third catcher and DH.
And I can't think of a reason National League players would be upset. It's an additional starting spot, another avenue to a greater salary, and NL teams would not be at a disadvantage in road Interleague and World Series games.