Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rookie Miguel Vargas Talks About Working on Defense with Veteran Miguel Rojas

Miguel Rojas was the starting shortstop for the Marlins the last five years or so, but now that he’s come back to the Dodgers, he finds himself in more of a utility infielder role. You might expect the 34-year-old veteran to be upset about that change, but instead, Rojas has taken the team approach of trying to help the guys starting in front of him get better.

Perhaps the best example is rookie Miguel Vargas, who reached out to Rojas shortly after the trade went down in January. The two Miguels, who were both based in the Miami area, got together at Nova Southeastern University near Fort Lauderdale to work on their defense together. Rojas was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop last year and has played all over the infield, while Vargas has been a bat-first prospect trying to find a position. Vargas will be LA’s starting second baseman this season, so Rojas took it on himself to help the youngster adapt to a new position.

Doug McKain of Dodgers Nation talked with Vargas this weekend from the Los Angeles clubhouse at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, and he asked the rookie what it was like working on defense with a stellar defender like Rojas.

“He helped me a lot. We were talking about my glove position, how I have to move my legs, everything. We worked a lot, we worked a lot. I’m just glad for the way he helped me every day, and I’m just a lucky guy and I’m grateful for him.”

“Grateful” is kind of the theme of the whole conversation between Doug and Vargas, who seems extremely humble and looking forward to being a big leaguer. It’s outstanding to see Rojas, who could have had a much worse attitude about his situation, putting his emphasis on being an important part of a winning team rather than on his playing time.

Rojas’s experience and expertise will pay dividends for Vargas and shortstop Gavin Lux, and hopefully it will help the two of them gel as the middle infield of the future for the Dodgers.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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