Miguel Rojas joined the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization last season and appeared in 130 games with Double-A Chattanooga. He posted mediocre numbers but began 2014 with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Rojas played in 51 games with the Isotopes and saw time at second base, shortstop and third. Although he wasn’t the first player promoted from the Minors when Juan Uribe suffered a hamstring injury, Rojas’ opportunity came after the Dodgers sent Erisbel Arruebarrena back to Triple-A in June.
Similar to Arruebarrena, Rojas was considered to hold a strong glove and an average bat. Rojas replaced Hanley Ramirez at shortstop in the eighth inning and committed an error on the first ball hit in his direction.
The error didn’t cost the Dodgers, who won the game and based on Rojas’ play the remainder of the season, it was likely due to nerves that came with him making his MLB debut. As the Dodgers shuffled their infielders with players returning from injury and going on the disabled list, Rojas never had to experience life in the Minors after his promotion.
The 25-year-old Venezuelan native appeared in 85 games and played all the infield positions with the exception of first base and catcher. Rojas also found himself in left field during an August game against the New York Mets and while there was some talk it could become a position he played more frequently, that was his only time in the outfield.
Rojas finished the season with seven errors on 198 chances and made the Dodgers’ NLDS roster and entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning of Game 2.
Aside from the excitement that comes with making your MLB debut, Rojas’ best moment this season is also one that Clayton Kershaw will remember. Just 12 days after joining the Dodgers, Rojas started at third base in what wound up being Kershaw’s first career no-hitter.
While Ramirez’s error in the seventh inning made news for costing Kershaw a perfect game, Rojas’ backhanded stop and throw from foul territory where the infield meets the outfield grass, preserved the no-hitter in the seventh.
Prior to contributing to Kershaw’s historic game with his glove, Rojas came up in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded. He turned on a 1-0 pitch for a double that cleared the bases and extended the Dodgers’ lead to 7-0.
Manager Don Mattingly certainly appeared to trust Rojas’ defensive capabilities and that should bode well for the infielder heading into next season. However, where Rojas undeniably needs work in is at the plate, which is to be expected for a young player.
Rojas hit just .181/.242/.221 and struck out in 28 of his 149 at-bats, and had a .217 BABIP, according to FanGraphs. While the Dodgers are likely to rely on Rojas for his glove, swinging a better bat in 2015 could result in more playing time.
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