After a little over two weeks of the MLB season, Miguel Rojas has settled in as the Miami Marlins everyday shortstop, beating out J.T. Riddle for the spot.
It may have taken a little longer than expected, but the Miami Marlins finally have their everyday shortstop in Miguel Rojas. The 30-year-old utility player has been one of the unsung heroes on the Marlins every changing roster since last season. The veteran is showing the way on the diamond and at the plate.
Rojas beat out J.T. Riddle for the position, but that does not mean Riddle won’t be an important part of this team coming off the bench. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Kentucky native has been working at third base and in the outfield. Riddle is also experienced at playing second base, making his a valuable commodity for manager Don Mattingly and the coaching staff.
So far in the Majors, Riddle has exclusively been at short. Miguel Rojas, on the other hand, has played all around the infield and has also the ability to move to the outfield.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
- Miami Marlins news: the New York Mets are a risky threat
- Miami Marlins keep missing out on stars
"“Miggy, in a sense, has taken over that job,” Mattingly said. “His at-bats in the spring were good. His at-bats early in the season have been good. Just wanted that energy on the field.”"
This all started in Spring when Rojas was hitting the cover off the ball at a .439 clip. He has leveled off once the regular season started to the tune of .257 with five RBI. Riddle has shown some power in his bat with two homers but is only hitting .160 for the season so far.
It’s something Mattingly doesn’t seem too concerned about right now.
"“JT will be back in there,” Mattingly said. “We’ll get him going, and making sure he’s working on what he needs to work on.”"
One of the things Mattingly and the Marlins front office wanted for their roster was versatile players who could move around the diamond and in the outfield. It’s a different look from last season, but there is some balance. The Marlins aren’t breaking out the lumber this season, and have not helped their starting pitchers when they have been masterful.
But as Mattingly said over the weekend, this is a team that is seeing better pitches to hit and the players are making more contact at the plate.
At the start of Spring Training, Mattingly was splitting time between the two players. As the Grapefruit season progressed and the regular season began, it became more evident Miguel Rojas was playing a better brand of baseball for the Marlins.