Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Lays Out Areas Miguel Vargas Needs to Improve on Defense

We are in the early throes of Miguel Vargas season with the Dodgers. Or “szn,” as the kids might write it on Twitter. The front office made the decision over the winter that the rookie infielder out of Cuba would the guy in 2023. At the time, it was unsure if that meant he would settle in at third base, a position he’s played the most as a professional, or be moved to a new position. But by now we know for certain that he’s LA’s new second baseman.

He spent most of the offseason working on his craft at the keystone, spending time at Dodger Stadium with third base and infield coach Dino Ebel learning the nuances of the position. Vargas has received positive reviews about his transition to the new position and has backed it up flashing the leather on a few nice plays already this spring. But manager Dave Roberts said this week that there is still some work to do, as the LA Times reports.

Roberts thinks Vargas has the athletic tools to succeed at second base and that he just needs to polish his fundamentals, from playing lower to the dirt to drilling a more consistent arm motion with his throws to first base.

“There’s been some really spectacular plays. And then there’s been a couple plays that I think he could have made. So I think, at this point, that’s what we would have expected. But our expectation is, he’s expecting to improve each day.”

Via Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times

The potential is there and the willingness to learn is absolutely there, as Ebel among others have preached for the last few months. Vargas has also spent some time with the other Miguel that will play to his right, Miguel Rojas. The veteran Rojas was one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball last season. As he usually is most seasons. Rojas and Vargas met up in Miami soon after the Dodgers traded for elder Miguel from the Marlins in January. As Rojas told earlier this spring, he believes Vargas can best improve by finding a routine and practicing with a purpose

The Dodgers are all in on the Miguel Vargas era. The club believes in the hit tool (by the way, he’ll finally be able to swing in a game tonight). He won’t start 162 games at the position — especially with Mookie Betts set to see a good amount of time there this season, according to Doc — but he should more or less be the primary guy up the middle for LA.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!

One Comment

  1. So, here’s the question. Where does Andrew Friedman rank out of the 31 onfield managers for 2023? (31 because Roberts is the symbolic manager on the field).

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