Jose Rojas, 28, finally breaks through to the big leagues with the Angels

Angels' Jose Rojas high-fives teammates after scoring on a double by Wilfredo Tovar.
After spending years in the minors, Angels infielder Jose Rojas will be part of the team’s opening day roster.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

The Angels lost their last Cactus League game Saturday, falling to the San Diego Padres 2-0 in seven innings.

ON THE TEAM: Jose Rojas, a former Anaheim High School and Vanguard University infielder who at age 28 is still looking for his first big league at-bat, was informed by manager Joe Maddon that he has made the opening-day roster as a utility man. “It’s pretty surreal — it hasn’t really sunk in,” Rojas, a 36th-round pick in 2016, said Saturday. “I’m sure it will once we get going. I’ve been working my entire life for this.” The left-handed-hitting Rojas batted .293 with 31 homers, 39 doubles and 107 RBIs for triple-A Salt Lake in 2019.

ON THE MOUND: Aaron Slegers gave up one hit and struck out one in 1 2/3 scoreless innings and has not given up a run in five innings over four spring appearances. Though the 6-foot-10 right-hander was slowed this spring by back spasms, he appears ready to open the season. “I’m a big fan of his stuff, strike-throwing, the person,” Maddon said. “We just have to make sure he’s healthy.” … Jaime Barria, who is battling for a bullpen spot, gave up one hit and struck out one in a sharp two-inning, 32-pitch start.


Eric Kay’s attorney seeks to postpone the trial of the former Angels employee, who has been charged in connection with the death of Tyler Skaggs.

March 26, 2021

AT THE PLATE: The Padres scored the only runs in the fifth on Jorge Mateo’s two-out, two-run double off left-hander Alex Claudio. Justin Upton had the only hit — a first-inning double to right field — off San Diego left-hander Blake Snell, who struck out six and walked one in five scoreless innings.

EXTRA BASES: Right fielder Jo Adell made a diving catch of Eguy Rosario’s flare to the gap in the seventh. … The Angels made the signing of veteran reliever AJ Ramos to a minor league deal official Saturday. The 34-year-old right-hander has a 3.08 ERA in 377 games in eight seasons and was an All-Star with Miami in 2016, but he had shoulder surgery in 2018 and has made only three appearances in the last two seasons. … Veteran outfielder Jon Jay, released Friday, was re-signed to a minor league deal Saturday.

UP NEXT: Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney will face Dodgers left-hander David Price in the opener of the three-game Freeway Series on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Angel Stadium. TV: FSW. Radio: AM 830.