After struggling heavily since late April, Miguel Rojas got back home after a long road trip and was a key part of the Marlins’ sweep against the Diamondbacks at LoanDepot Park. In the three-game series, he got more hits (7) than in his prior 10 games combined (4).
For Rojas, the rough patch began on April 21, ironically after going 4-for-4 vs the Orioles the day before. In that period, until May 1, the shortstop went 3-for-33 with two singles and a double. He recorded only one run batted in, five scored runs, and posted a poor .091/.231/.121. Not helpful for an injury-plagued team that already had obvious offensive limitations.
But Rojas finally got it going against the D-Backs.
In the first game, on Tuesday, Rojas collected three hits in five trips to the plate, including a double and an RBI. The day after, an 8-0 win, he was 2-for-3 with another two-bagger and his second triple of the year, plus two more ribbies.
But it didn’t end there for the Venezuelan. On Thursday, the final day of the sweep, he contributed big time with a leadoff homer (his first of the year), an RBI, and two hits in total off Madison Bumgarner.
Taking into account the three games, Rojas was 7-for-12 during the series, along with two doubles, one triple, one dinger, and four driven in for the Marlins’ cause.
As proof of how badly the Marlins need Rojas to get hot, the team is 7-2 this campaign when he gets at least one run batted in.
"It always feels good coming back home and playing really good baseball, and we did..."— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) May 7, 2021
Miguel Rojas helped lead the Marlins to their 3-1 win and sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks!#MLB #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/cYDaUqhsyY
Rojas credited Marlins’ bench coach James Rowson for his adjustments at the plate and said they’ve been working together to leave the slump behind.
“I had an off day last Sunday in Washington,” he recalled after the game. “I didn’t play at all, but I had a really good conversation with our bench coach James Rowson. He brought a couple of really good points about my swing. I wasn’t able to figure out my swing until I got those points from him. All the credit [goes] to the coaching staff, you know, being on top of you and helping you be the best player that you can be. Hopefully, we’ll keep it rolling.”
For the season overall, Rojas has raised his expected weighted on-base average to .331. That’s almost identical to his career-best .330 xwOBA from 2020.
Just like each of the Diamondbacks games, he’s been placed in the leadoff spot for Friday’s matchup. If Rojas stays hot, Don Mattingly will have some interesting choices to make once Jazz Chisholm Jr. (hamstring) and Starling Marte (rib) make it back from their respective injuries.
The Marlins will now host the Brewers to begin a three-game series. Hopefully, Rojas and the whole team can keep it up!