Miguel Rojas will get 10-day audition to start for Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL - JULY 24: Miguel Rojas
MIAMI, FL - JULY 24: Miguel Rojas /

Following the injury to Martin Prado on Monday night, Miguel Rojas finds himself with a rare opportunity to seize a starting spot with the Miami Marlins.

As a player, it must be difficult to come to terms with your career advancing due to someone else’s misfortune. That’s the reality of professional sports, though. And if you have a conscience about how you’ve risen to the cream of the crop, you probably won’t stay there long.

It happens countless times in every sport throughout the course of a season. It’s happened elsewhere on the Miami Marlins just this season. When Adeiny Hechavarria went on the disabled list, JT Riddle swooped in and stole his job. Hechavarria was traded as soon as possible.

Miguel Rojas will find himself in a similar position for at least the next 10 days. He’ll have to prove to the Miami Marlins brass that he’s a legitimate option long-term.

Prior to the injury, Rojas was in the midst of the best season of his career. He was experiencing statistical boosts across the board. He was blossoming as a fielder, and he seemingly improved with every at bat. Then he broke his thumb, and all that progress was halted.

The team will be hoping that Rojas is the same player he was before his injury. If so, the 10 days Martin Prado is on the disabled list might be all he needs to convince them to give him the starting job. Even if it is only for the rest of the 2017 season.

After captain Martin Prado went on the disabled list, the team announced that they’d be putting Prado on the 10-day DL with a right knee sprain. Miguel Rojas was activated in a corresponding move.

Avoiding a tough decision

The injury saves Miami from having to make a decision that they’d been having night terrors about. They had too many infielders and not enough places to put them. Somebody was going to have to get sent down.

It wasn’t going to be Prado, obviously. But between JT Riddle, Derek Dietrich, and Miguel Rojas, something had to give. Now with Prado headed to the DL, they’ve sidestepped that issue. In fact, they might never have to face it.

The team will continue to try and trade Prado before the deadline this season. They might find that it is more difficult to entice a buyer, but they should still be able to get something done. Prado could theoretically return with four days left before the break, but expect the Marlins to be trying to work out a deal while he’s on the disabled list.

Any agreement involving an injured player will need to get approval from the commissioners office.

For Miguel Rojas, none of that matters. He’ll likely be splitting time between JT Riddle and Derek Dietrich with Martin Prado no longer in the everyday lineup. He finds himself in a unique position after missing two months of the season.

Rojas is already 28-years old, so labeling him a prospect is a stretch. He’s in his fourth season in the Major Leagues, and will finally get a chance to seriously compete for a starting job. Rojas has 10-days to dazzle the Miami Marlins, convincing them he is their guy moving forward.

Battles to come

Best case scenario (for Rojas), would be tearing up the next 10-days on the baseball diamond and winning a starting job. For now, Rojas has enough clout, prowess and experience to keep top infielding prospect Brian Anderson in the minor leagues.

That won’t last long, though. Anderson will be invited to camp next spring with a legitimate shot of making the team. That’ll be a tough battle for Rojas to win regardless of how well he plays. He’s already carved out a niche as one of the best utility men in the game of baseball. He might be forced to return to that role in 2018.

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Rojas hasn’t seen live Major League pitching in many weeks, but can’t afford to waste any time trying to get back to pro form. He’ll need to produce right away. If he fails to produce the way the team hopes, they might elect to call Anderson up in September and see what he can do.

It’s the most important 10-day stretch of Miguel Rojas’ baseball career.