MIGUEL ROJAS, 25, infielder.
Final 2014 stats: Hit .181 with 16 runs, one homer, 9 RBI and .242 on-base and .221 slugging percentages in 149 plate appearances. Seven errors in 198 chances (.965).
Contract status: Under team control.
The good: A very nice glove, and one no doubt the pitchers would prefer behind them over the departed Hanley Ramirez, but it wasn’t like he screamed Gold Glove, either. And his defense has to be truly exceptional to make up for his non-existent offense. Only five times in 85 games did he managed more than one hit. Batted .100 in his last 35 games (five for 100).
The bad: Pretty much zippo on the hitting front. Went 3-for-5 in 5-1 win over Brewers on Aug. 10. His fielding percentage was not all that impressive (Ramirez has a lifetime .967 mark), but three of his seven errors came playing third base. He still displayed a smooth glove and could get to plenty of balls Ramirez never could. Often came into games late as his defensive replacement.
What’s next: At the moment, in the mix to be the Dodgers starting shortstop. He could start, be a reserve or head back to triple-A. Or more likely, to a lot of back and forth to triple-A.
The take: He spent seven seasons in the Reds’ organization without ever getting called up. Nothing about his bat hinted he could survive in the majors. He has a career .234 batting average in the minors.
But the Dodgers took a no-risk gamble signing him as a free agent after the 2012 season and then he hit .233 at double-A Chattanooga. Last season, however, he did bat .302 at triple-A Albuquerque and they still raved about his glove, so he was brought up. Spent most of the last four months with the Dodgers.
Management is trying to add a starting shortstop to replace Ramirez, so Rojas remains in baseball purgatory. If A.J. Ellis is their primary starting catcher, it would be difficult to carry a second light-hitting player in the daily lineup.
But Rojas can pick it, and that counts for plenty. Particularly -- presumably – with the team’s front office management team. He’s an off-season fall-back plan, but then so is Cuban Erisbel Arruebarrena, whose defense most are even higher on.