The Miami Marlins decision, as it would appear, to carry only four bench players makes the role Miguel Rojas plays for the team that much more important.
Rojas showed he could not only play at varied positions so far this spring training, but he has shown pop with the bat. He credits this to his training in the offseason.
Per a story on MLB.com, Rojas started at shortstop and belting a three-run homer and driving in four runs in a 9-5 victory over the Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
The value Rojas has shown in his career is as a strong defensive player, with the ability to play all four infield positions. But in the offseason, the 28-year-old made a commitment to improve his offense.
The Marlins could certainly use Rojas’ bat off the bench and his glove to replace infielders who need a day off or have to sit while dealing with injuries.
"[It was the] first time my whole career in the big leagues [that] I played the whole season," Rojas said. "I made the sacrifice to play in Venezuela and get like 120 at-bats. I think that helped me a lot, because I needed some reps. As a bench player, I'm always going to be limited to get at-bats during the season."
Rojas was signed by the Cincinnati Reds organization as an amateur free agent in 2006, and played in their minor league system through 2012, making it as far as the AAA Louisville Bats to end his 2012 season. He joined the Dodgers organization in 2013 and played for the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Class AA Southern League, where he hit .233 in 130 games. In 2014, he received a non-roster invite to Major League spring training, where he was given a chance to compete for the vacant second base job. The Dodgers assigned him to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to start 2014, where he hit .302 in 51 games.
Rojas was called up to the Majors for the first time by the Dodgers on June 6, 2014, and made his debut as a late inning defensive replacement. His first hit was a single off Matt Belisle of the Colorado Rockies in his first start on June 8, 2014.
Rojas joined the Marlins in 2014 along with Dee Gordon and Dan Haren, in exchange for Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Austin Barnes, and Enrique "Kiké" Hernandez.
After returning to Miami in the offseason, Rojas spoke with Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez. They both recommended he do some training with Ricardo Sosa, who works with a number of big league players. The improvement personally should mean an improvement for the team this season.