The plan for the Dodgers coming into spring training was for Gavin Lux to be the everyday shortstop and Miguel Rojas to serve as a utility infielder. Those plans changed drastically this week when a Monday knee injury to Lux turned into a Tuesday announcement that the 25-year-old is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said Rojas will slide into the role as the primary shortstop, with Chris Taylor also likely to get some time there. For Rojas, it’s nothing new – he was the starting shortstop for the Marlins the last several years. As he told the media on Thursday, his approach even as a utility player was to be ready to help the team every day.
“What it means for me is what I’ve been preparing for. I’ve been playing shortstop everyday for the last four or five years of my career. I went into the offseason preparing to play 162 games and here it is. Here’s an opportunity I’m not going to take for granted. I know what I have to do to be part of a winning team.”
Obviously no player roots for an injury to his teammate, but Rojas knows his job as a utility player was to be ready in case an injury happened.
“It doesn’t matter who’s going down or who’s getting injured, you have to be ready. If you’re going to be a role player and the guy on the bench, you have to be ready for these opportunities.”
Injuries happen in baseball. No one likes them, but the best players are always prepared for them. This is part of why the Dodgers re-acquired the veteran Rojas this offseason, because his team-first mentality is essential when the baseball gods throw you a curveball.
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