Miguel Rojas had been the black sheep for a Dodgers lineup that has connected for 194 home runs this season, the second most in baseball. After a spring training where he hit .262 with an .816 OPS and two home runs, Rojas entered 2023 refreshed, looking to be a major contributor as the everyday shortstop.
With a goose egg in the home run column, a .272 on base percentage and a .263 slugging percentage through July, Rojas was failing to provide any significant dents against opposing pitchers until August 2, where he finally broke the power drought. Since hitting his second career home run wearing a Dodgers uniform, he has quietly been an x-factor at the bottom of the lineup.
Rojas has hit .222 with a .556 slugging percentage, connecting for two home runs, walking twice and zero strikeouts over his past seven games played. While his power numbers are increasing, his playing time will remain constant. J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register writes about Rojas’ limited playing time in hopes of him being healthy enough to fully contribute in the postseason:
“It’s the smart thing to do,” he said. “There’s not many shortstops playing every day at 34, 35 years old. For me, I think if I can have my legs fresh and my arm, and not be dealing with something like legs in September, it’s beneficial. I’m looking forward to playing another 20 to 25 (postseason) games to the World Series. That’s the goal.”
Rojas’ recent hot streak hasn’t made him an elite hitter overnight, as he is still hitting under .220 with a 57 wRC+ and a -0.2 oWAR. Despite his replacement level production, his defense has been more than reliable, as his 11 DRS ranks third among active shortstops, trailing Dansby Swanson of the Chicago Cubs and Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees.
- Mookie Betts is having one of the best seasons any Dodgers leadoff has had in the team’s history, breaking the Dodgers’ single season leadoff home run record and hitting the most leadoff home runs in a season before the month of September in baseball history— adding two of them during their series against the Miami Marlins. Brady Farkas of Sports Illustrated writes about Betts’ phenomenal season and overall impact he’s had on the Dodgers.
- Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic writes about former Dodgers reliever Darien Núñez, who was designated for assignment by the team while undergoing Tommy John surgery and is nearing the end of the road to recovery with their rivals in the San Francisco Giants.