Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Miguel Rojas Reveals Conversation with Dave Roberts That Gave Him Confidence

This isn’t Miguel Rojas’ first go-round in Los Angeles.

But for the now 34-year-old, things are a lot different than the initial time he played in the City of Angels.

He made it to the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2014 and had more of a utility role on his way to a .181/.242/.221 over just 162 plate appearances.

Then he made his way to the other side of the country and thrived over the next eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, becoming a steady veteran presence for the young and talented group alongside him, while also turning into a reliable bat at the plate and a quality defender at short.

But those times in Miami abruptly ended when he was dealt back to the Dodgers in an offseason trade, and Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts made a phone call to the team’s newest shortstop: A call that proved vital to a veteran who was set to enter an uncertain situation.

With one move, Rojas went from a comfortable situation in Miami where he’d found himself at home as an everyday player into one where playing time wasn’t guaranteed with Gavin Lux set to man shortstop.

But then Roberts made his expectations clear to him — and part of that was the manager’s hope that he’d learn as much from Rojas as Rojas would learn from him in his new era in Los Angeles.

“He explained to me my role, how my role was going to work, what they had in mind,” Rojas recalls. “One of the things I remember the most is the confidence that he gave me. (He told me), ‘You’re one of our veterans, and you’re going to be a big part of what we’re trying to do. So I want you to actually teach me and let me know the ways that you see the game as well, so that way I can learn from you as much as you can learn from me.’”

Miguel Rojas, via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider

And after Lux tore his ACL and LCL in spring training, it was time for Rojas to step into a role that was more than familiar to him: starting shortstop.

While he’s had his fair share of ups and downs in 2023, Rojas’ reliable bat in Miami has returned just in time for what he and the Dodgers hope will be a deep playoff run.

Rojas wasn’t in Los Angeles for the team’s true era of dominance starting in 2016 — back when NLCS, and later, World Series appearances — became the expectation rather than an anomaly.

But he’s here now, no longer a rookie trying to figure out just how to navigate through this whole MLB thing.

He’s figured that out — in Miami and now back in LA.

And now, after an all-important conversation that restored his confidence, Rojas is expected to play an impactful role in the Dodgers’ postseason.

We’ll see what happens, but one thing’s for sure. The start to his second stint in Dodger blue will end markedly different than his first.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner was born and raised in southern California, and he lived there before moving to Colorado and getting his B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022. He relocated back to southern California in 2023 and is looking forward to covering the Dodgers again here at Dodgers Nation. Some of his past work is in Bleacher Report, Dodgers Tailgate, and, most recently, Colorado Buffaloes Wire. Aside from writing, you can probably catch him petting the nearest dog or eating some good Mexican food.

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