When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for shortstop Miguel Rojas over the offseason, they didn’t intend on him being their starting shortstop for the majority of the season. But a gruesome injury to infielder Gavin Lux opened the door for Rojas to take the job.
He was seen as a depth piece to this team when acquired but his leadership has been second to none for the Dodgers this season. Manager Dave Roberts highlighted what it has meant for LA and how appreciative they are of him.
“Miggy’s been fantastic. I think he’s really stabilized the infield defense. He’s a baseball player. He’s been around a long time, played in various roles. Just enjoys playing the game of baseball, and I think that, in itself, is contagious, and shouldn’t be understated.”Per SNLA
Dave Roberts on today's roster moves, Dustin May's road to recovery and more ahead of the finale in Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/pGQx0Ku3dZ— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 19, 2023
Rojas is more of a defensive asset to the team, but the team knew that when trading for him. For the season, he is hitting just .226 with 11 runs batted in. He hasn’t hit a home run yet but has drawn 15 walks.
The team is hopeful that he can get his bat going a little more as the year keeps going. But his defense and vocal presence have been noted. He spoke to the team about playing with more fire after their series loss to the Royals and it has seemed to work. Roberts touched on this as well.
“Him identifying to our team that we’ve got to play with more urgency I think resonated, and sometimes it just holds more weight when a veteran player addresses something like that. So our guys clearly heard it and responded.”Per SNLA
Roberts has called him an on-field manager, similar to a quarterback in football or a point guard in basketball. Rojas isn’t a flashy player at all but he is exactly what this team needed from a veteran standpoint.
“He and I have built a relationship that he wanted to be an extension of me, in the best possible way. I talk a lot about having talented players, but also smart players. And understanding that a visit needed to happen right there for Michael (Grove) at that point in time, that’s a manager on the field).”Per SNLA
As the season goes on, Rojas will continue to be part of the lineup. He will be relied upon to help lead if the team reaches the postseason and LA is more than confident in his skillset.
LA continues their road trip with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers and their former shortstop Corey Seager this weekend. After that, they head home for the first time since the All-Star break.
Photo Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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