Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Miguel Rojas for a backup role on the club, but he was pushed into a starting job when Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending torn ACL and LCL in his right knee during Spring Training.
The early results of playing every day have not been kind to Rojas. The 34-year-old shortstop has dealt with numerous injuries, and when he is on the field, he’s hitting just .193/.258/.211 with a 35 wRC+. Put another way, Rojas has been 65% worse than a league-average hitter.
Rojas has never been known for his bat, making his name as one of the best defenders in baseball, but his production this season is roughly 50% worse than his career average.
The early results may have been from the results of some offseason changes that didn’t stick, so he went back to using what worked for him in previous seasons, he said on SportsNet LA:
“In this game you have to make adjustments when things are not going your way. I went into the offseason thinking to make an adjustment to bring into the season. In Spring Training it worked out really well for me, but I kind of lost it by not being able to play every day at the beginning of the year, being out with the groin and then the hamstring.
“So I kind of went back to myself from 2020 and 2021. I’ve been working on letting the ball travel a little bit more and getting hits first to get the feeling of being comfortable at the plate, and seeing the ball better and seeing it deeper. Because I was trying to do a little bit too much, seeking results. At the end of the day, you’ve got to make adjustments and go back to what worked for you in the past.
“The hitting coaches have been with me and Doc has been on me. The trust he puts in my success is unbelievable. That gave me the confidence to go out there and work on whatever I need to work on. It’s been nice to see some results, but it’s not done yet. I have to keep working hard. The season is long and I have a lot of at-bats ahead of me to continue getting better.”
Rojas’ production has improved a bit recently. Over his last seven games, he’s hitting .250/.286/.250, which still is far below league average, but an improvement nonetheless.
Even more recently in his last two games, he’s batting 3-for-7 with an RBI, walk and stolen base.
The Dodgers don’t need elite production out of him, but they also can’t have him being a black hole in the lineup, so if Rojas can produce near his .259/.312/.355 career line, then the club will be fine continuing to play him.
Dodgers change Miguel Rojas’ role
As Rojas was working his way back from a strained groin, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed the club would no longer utilize him in an every day role.
Rojas instead is expected to start two or three times per week at shortstop for the remainder of the season.
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