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Shortstop Miguel Rojas to be first Marlins player to return from COVID-19 outbreak

Rojas starred in the club’s opening series of the 2020 season, but has missed all 15 games since then.

MLB: JUL 26 Marlins at Phillies Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hoping to salvage something from their series finale against the Mets Thursday night, the Marlins are activating Miguel Rojas from the COVID-19 Related injured list, Jon Heyman reports. The club will be formally announcing it shortly (along with a corresponding roster move).

For the first time in his major league career, Rojas entered a season with a true everyday role as Miami’s starting shortstop. He validated the decision immediately during opening weekend (July 24-26), slashing .700/.750/1.300 in 12 plate appearances to help take two of three in Philadelphia.

Fish Stripes original GIF

All of the 18 Marlins players who tested positive for COVID-19 in late July have since been cleared to return to baseball activities by the MLB/MLBPA joint committee. Most of them describe being asymptomatic throughout the process, but Rojas was among the unlikely ones who suffered from a high fever and headaches, which makes it all the more remarkable that he leads this wave of reinforcements.

The 31-year-old reported to the Marlins alternate training site in Jupiter last Saturday and has been taking as many at-bats as possible against live pitching to snap back into his July form.

Without Rojas, Sandy Alcantara, Jorge Alfaro and many other key contributors, the Marlins surprisingly stayed afloat with a 8-7 record over their last 15 games. But the magic has worn off lately with five straight losses to the division-rival Braves and Mets. Jonathan Villar, Jon Berti and Eddy Alvarez all received starts at shortstop in Rojas’ absence.

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte suffered a right oblique strain on Tuesday. I would expect him to be placed on the 10-day injured list to make room for Rojas. Additional moves are possible.

Once the Fish make things official, the 28-man active roster will be updated here.