Miguel Rojas Is Not The Answer At Second Base
By Scott Andes
Miguel Rojas people. Miguel Rojas. Good lord where do I even begin with this? So apparently GM Ned Colletti has made a comment that the Dodgers are considering Miguel Rojas as a possible option for second base. Now since none of us are sitting in Colletti’s office we can only speculate as to what that really means. It could mean that Rojas will just get a token look in spring training. Or it could mean the Dodgers are seriously considering putting a career minor leaguer at the keystone spot.
One can only hope that this is just a token comment for a token view in spring. But before I get to the possible reasoning behind this you have to know about Miguel Rojas first. You must understand that Rojas sucks balls. Sit down for a minute and accept it. Are you sitting down? OK good. Now accept that Rojas is awful. Once you’ve accepted this truth, you can take a look at the guy and wonder what the hell Colletti is talking about here.
Rojas is a 24-year-old infielder from Venezuela and is a right handed hitter. He primarily plays shortstop but he has about 42 games at second base, and another handful at third. The Dodgers signed Rojas last year and he played the 2013 season in Chattanooga. In 130 games for the Lookouts and 480 plate appearances, Rojas batted .233 with five home runs, and 32 runs batted in. He doesn’t get on base at all either, which is evident by his .303 OBP in 2013, and a career .302 mark. He drew 40 walks in 2013, and that was a career high for him. He has no speed, and little to no power. He has a whopping 13 career minor league home runs.
Rojas has also never played at the major league level before. Not one game. He’s played briefly at the triple-A level, but that’s as far as he’s gotten. Rojas is a below replacement level minor leaguer, with a career .234 average and .589 OPS. So why would the Dodgers be considering a guy who would make us yearn for Ryan Theriot as the starting second baseman?
Either it’s all talk or they are uncertain about Alexander Guerrero. We know that there is some uncertainty about Guerrero because of the lack of information on him, (And now he has some visa issue, and oy). Yes we don’t know much about him, but what we do know is that he is a professional Baseball player from Cuba and the scouts seem to think he’s got some talent.
I think the concern is a bit misplaced. Guerrero played a little in winter ball but strained his hamstring and couldn’t continue. We know the Dodgers wanted to take a look at his defense, but I don’t care all that much about his defense as long as he can hit.
People have common misconceptions that professional Baseball leagues in other countries are below major League level. That may be true for some, but most have players that are just as good as the most talented MLB players.
We’ve heard this narrative before. They said the same thing about Yasiel Puig, and they said the same thing about Hyun-jin Ryu. They said that neither player would be ready for the major league level. People wanted Puig to begin last season in the minors and he did. I personally believe that Puig’s stint in Chattanooga was an utter waste of time. There’s a thought that it was a good way to develop the Dodger’s investment, but Guerrero and Puig are not bank accounts, despite having very large bank accounts themselves. They don’t need development in the minors.
My problem is, if you’re going to pay a player 28 million dollars, you don’t put him in the minors. Minor leaguers do not get paid seven million dollars per year. Isn’t that a gross misallocation of resources?
No, Guerrero does not belong in the minors anymore than Butera belongs in the majors. Now he may not be ready because of injury, but to say that he’s not a major league caliber player simply because he’s coming from outside the US is somewhat of a slap in the face to the Dodger’s international scouting department, which has had a very good reputation.
Guerrero can and probably will be ready to play by spring. There’s no reason to put him in the minor leagues. Otherwise, why give him such a huge contract if he’s just going to waste time down there?
If the Dodgers were really that concerned about Guerrero not being”ready”, or not being able to “adjust to the majors”. Let me remind everyone again that they said the same things about Puig and Ryu, and hey they turned out pretty good right? Then maybe they shouldn’t have let Mark Ellis walk in free agency.
I believe that Guerrero is a professional Baseball player, and barring injury, and Visa issues should be able to be ready to go by the time camp breaks. Baseball is a universal language, that Guerrero should be fluent in. Guerrero has seen a 98 MPH fastball before. He’s a hit a curveball. He can pull a ball down the line, and field his position. He’s just never faced MLB pitching. Of course he may struggle at first sure that’s possible, and I’m not saying it’s not, but I think he has the ability to be successful. Was he not an all-star in Cuba? He’ll be fine. There’s plenty of time for him to prepare in spring. But if he’s not, if he sucks, or struggles, or gets off to a slow start, then at least we’ll know. We’ll know then that he might not be worth the 28 million dollars the Dodgers shelled out for him. Putting him in the minors won’t tell us that. I would rather take a chance on Guerrero, and see what we have with him, than play some scrub Minor leaguer at second base that can’t hit.
Adrian feels the same way I do. I don’t care how good defensively he is. Haven’t we learned from seasons past that having an automatic out in the lineup is a bad idea?
If the Dodgers really have no faith in Guerrero, or he cant go because of his Visa, then why not give Dee Gordon a look? At least he has speed. And hey what about Justin Sellers? He’s another all glove and no bat guy. At least he’s played in the majors before, as has Gordon. Let’s see what Guerrero has first before we give up and put some No bat Scrub at second base. Let’s stay the course.
Miguel Rojas is not the answer at second base. Regardless of what happens with Guerrero. So far the new Dodger ownership has made all of the right decisions. They’ve built a competitive roster, kept their promises to Dodger fans and have preserved and protected Dodger tradition in the way it should be protected. So far they’ve done a great job. I would hate to see them start the 2014 season by going down the wrong road.