Dodgers changing Miguel Rojas' role shows offseason trade was misguided

Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Miguel Rojas from the Miami Marlins this past offseason, some fans were wondering if that meant Gavin Lux would remain at second base. In the end, it didn't. He was supposed to be the starting shortstop until he tore his ACL. Rojas was supposed to be the utility guy.

After Lux's injury, it seemed the Dodgers had a decent but imperfect solution: put Rojas as the starting SS, a role he's assumed most of his career. He was incredibly effective on defense last season, so while the offense probably wasn't going to be spectacular, the Dodgers figured they could rely on an experienced, rock solid glove at the most important position on the field.

Turns out ... they can't! Rojas has been unable to stay healthy, dinged up by minor injuries that have limited him to just 12 games. He was activated from the injured list on Monday night, but the Dodgers don't plan to use him as a starter anymore.

Per manager Dave Roberts on Rojas' future playing time:

"I think a couple times a week is fair. I don’t feel comfortable running him out there every day anyway. And so whether it’s C.T. or Mookie taking that down, I feel good. I think once once he gets back and I look at matchups, and what gives the best chance to win that day, I can give you a better answer. I don’t know that answer right now. There’s a lot of soft tissue (injuries), and we’ve got to find a way to keep him healthy."

Dave Roberts

Dodgers acquiring Miguel Rojas progressively proving to be wasteful move

Rojas isn't exactly weighing down the payroll with his $5 million per year salary, but his acquisition did play a role in the Dodgers remaining over the luxury tax threshold. Additionally, they likely thought they were acquiring a starting-caliber player should their plans get derailed.

Well, now the plans are seriously derailed and the Dodgers are opting to put two players in Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts -- both of whom have limited experience at shortstop -- above Rojas in the pecking order.

Betts' versatility is admirable and one-of-a-kind, but the Dodgers now feeling like they need to prioritize him at an unfamiliar position in order to maintain some sort of positive consistency should have never been part of the 2023 plan.

Rojas was supposed to offer a semblance of stability and consistent reps, whether it was as an infield utility option or the starting shortstop. Now both of those options are off the table?

Obviously injuries played a role here, but that was something the Dodgers probably should've factored in when they were importing a 34-year-old middle infielder.