Miguel Rojas began his MLB career with the Dodgers. After spending six years in the Reds’ minor league system, Rojas signed with Los Angeles in 2012 and made his big-league debut a year-and-a-half later at age 25. It was an inauspicious beginning for Rojas, who came on as a defensive replacement for LA in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game in Colorado and made an error on his only defensive opportunity.
Charley Steiner described the low line drive by Charlie Culberson to Rojas, who couldn’t quite handle it and threw late to first base after dropping it:
“Line drive, and Rojas drops it! Too late. On his first big-league opportunity, easy as pie — and Rojas botched it.”
Things got better for Rojas, of course. Less than two weeks later, he made an outstanding play at third base to preserve Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter, and he’s been a fan favorite in Los Angeles ever since. The Dodgers traded Rojas to the Marlins after that season, but they swung another trade with Miami last month to bring Rojas back to solidify the infield defense.
At FanFest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Rojas talked about coming back to the Dodgers and being back on a team that expects to contend for a World Series title every year.
“It’s 100% a boost of energy. I feel like I’ve been worried about so many other things than just playing baseball the last couple of years because the necessity of being a good leader, being a good mentor for kids, and being there for them when they get to the big leagues. Now I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel like I want to play baseball — I want to show up and have fun. And that’s exactly what I felt when I got the news that I had been traded to the Dodgers. Super excited to play with guys like Freddie (Freeman), Mookie (Betts), get a reunion with Clayton (Kershaw), Max Muncy, (Gavin) Lux, I talk to them a lot when I play against them and now I can’t really wait to play with them.”
It’s hard not to be excited for a guy who is so excited to be a Dodger. Spending eight years in Miami will help a ballplayer recognize the value in playing in front of passionate fans every night on a team that expects to win.
Welcome back, Miggy!
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