Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Miguel Rojas was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2023 season with the expectation he would be a utility man and primary backup to Gavin Lux at shortstop.
However, Lux tore the ACL in his right knee during the third game of Spring Training and missed the entire season, which forced Rojas into a near everyday role.
Rojas left a lot to be desired with his bat, but was a top defender and started to pick it up offensively toward the end of the season. He also became a beloved figure and leader in the clubhouse.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said multiple times the team had a special chemistry in the clubhouse, and Rojas was among the players who acknowledged that feeling as well. But that also made it tougher for the players to deal with after being swept in the National League Division Series.
“I feel like because we knew we had a really good chance to win it (the World Series) and be better than what we showed, it’s a disappointment,” Rojas said. “We knew we were a really good team, we know we are the Dodgers and we played really good during the regular season.
“We had a lot of chemistry and things going our way, but sometimes it’s not just saying. You have to go and do your thing to win games. We weren’t able to do it this time, and it sucks. Hopefully next year we have an opportunity to do it again.”
The Dodgers won 16 more games than the Diamondbacks during the regular season, but struggled against an NL West opponent in the playoffs for a second consecutive year. L.A.’s offense and starting pitching both failed, which led to their early exit from playing October baseball.
“I feel like in a short series like this, you need to come in with the best energy and mentality to win the games and all that,” Rojas said. “At the end of the day it comes down to execution, and I felt like they executed better throughout the whole series; offensively, defensively and pitching-wise.
“That’s why they always scored ahead of us and it was kind of hard for us to come back every single time and try to change the approach of getting on base. In a short series like this it’s whoever plays better and whoever is hotter, is the team that’s going to win. We didn’t do that, and unfortunately we have to say goodbye to a really good season.
“We didn’t play well enough in the postseason, but a lot of guys had an opportunity to be here for the first time and hopefully they can get something out of it.”
Miguel Rojas returning with Dodgers in 2024
When the Dodgers traded for Rojas, he had one year remaining on his contract. However, the Dodgers signed him to a contract extension that runs through the 2024 season.
The deal also included a team option for 2025 worth $5 million.
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