Dodgers News: Dave Roberts More Impressed by Miguel Rojas’s Defense Than Expected
The Dodgers added Miguel Rojas late in the offseason as a solid veteran presence who would provide a ton of depth in the infield. Then, Gavin Lux went down with a season-ending knee injury, and suddenly, his role became much more prominent.
Rojas is now the Dodgers starting shortstop, and will likely play more than 120 games at the position this season. While the Dodgers knew they were getting a Gold Glove-caliber fielder in Rojas, his manager, Dave Roberts, has been blown away by his impressive defense (per Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times).
“It’s better than expected,” Roberts said. “I always thought he could defend in the middle of the field, but just to see how engaged he is, his jumps on the baseball, the arm strength, the accuracy … it’s a plus major league shortstop, and it’s showing itself now without the shift. To have a guy out there who can really defend and who’s rangy, it’s going to play big for us.”
Without the shift, it’s as important as ever to have a great shortstop with a ton of range — and Rojas has proven to be just that. He’s played his position perfectly this spring, and has made some very impressive plays to take away hits.
Rojas has also been a great veteran presence out there, helping Miguel Vargas both on and off the field. He’s sure to make a huge impact on this team, both in his play, and in the way in which he helps the younger players continue to grow.
While Rojas is definitely not the same hitter as Lux, he’s a much better defender, and has shown some strides with the bat. I expect him to fill in very nicely for Lux, and soften the blow that came with the Dodgers losing their starting shortstop. Also, fans are going to fall in love with him after each nice play he makes in the field.
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