Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
When Miguel Rojas was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2022 season, he spoke of wanting to provide a veteran leadership in his second stint with the team.
Rojas was initially projected to fill a utility role but wound up becoming the starting shortstop because of Gavin Lux’s right knee injury suffered in Spring Training. While Rojas endured some struggles at the plate, he provided a steady glove and strong presence in the Dodgers clubhouse.
The 34-year-old emerged as a trusted leader and now is heading into another season with the Dodgers where he figures to pair with the likes of Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Jason Heyward and Shohei Ohtani as pillars in the clubhouse.
One example of that has already taken place during Spring Training, as Rojas solicited advice from Freeman on which bottles of wine to buy as gifts for Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to welcome them to the Dodgers, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I know what it’s like to come from a different country, join a new team,” Rojas said. “So I wanted to do something to make them feel welcome.”
Yamamoto and Ohtani found bottles of wine in their lockers following Sunday’s workout, courtesy of Rojas – cabernet sauvignon from Quintessa as recommended by Freddie Freeman, Rojas said.
Ohtani — already in camp with pitchers and catchers despite being limited to duty as a designated hitter this season — previously stated he was going to conduct himself as an MLB rookie due to this being his first year with the Dodgers.
Yamamoto has expressed taking a similar reserved approach around the team while establishing himself as a new arrival from Nippon Professional Baseball.
In reality, the Dodgers clubhouse has a welcoming culture and the team is going to heavily lean on Ohtani and Yamamoto in pursuit of achieving their World Series goal.
Miguel Rojas established Dodgers celebration
Rojas previously was credited by Max Muncy for implementing a clubhouse tradition of celebrating wins last year. Muncy believed that helped the Dodgers find their groove during the regular season as they had been mired in some inconsistency both collectively and certain players on an individual basis.
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