Spring Training Preview: Miguel Rojas Scratched From Dodgers Lineup For Diamondbacks Game

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in their final days of Cactus League play and face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday for the first Spring Training matchup with their National League West counterpart.

Miguel Rojas was originally scheduled to make the start at third base, but the veteran infielder is dealing with some lower leg soreness that forced him to be scratched from the Dodgers lineup. Rojas nonetheless has been reported as taking ground balls during a workout.

Rojas dealt with numerous injuries in last year’s Spring Training, varying from issues with his right calf, foot cramps, left groin tightness and left hamstring cramps.

Given the uncertainty with Gavin Lux’s defensive ability, the Dodgers might have to lean on the consistent glove that Rojas has. The bulk of his value is at shortstop, and in late game spots or platoon scenarios, he could be an integral part of their infield rotation.

The Dodgers hand the ball to Gavin Stone, making his fourth appearance (third start) of Spring Training. Already having pitched to the tune of a 1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and four strikeouts over 5.2 innings, the right-hander has shown improvement thus far.

Stone was nearly spotless in his most recent spring outing, holding the Colorado Rockies scoreless over three innings. The 25-year-old allowed just two hits, tallying one strikeout.

Because of Emmet Sheehan will begin the season on the injured list, Stone seemingly has an inside track to being the Dodgers’ fifth starter on their Opening Day roster.

Stone’s turnaround after a rough rookie campaign is more of what the Dodgers saw in September, showing much of why he was a top prospect.

The Dodgers will be opposed by Brandon Pfaadt, who enters his second big league season with the Diamondbacks. Although his 2023 regular season wasn’t ideal (5.72 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), Pfaadt’s postseason success put himself in a new look.

Pfaadt became a huge arm for the Diamondbacks in their push toward a World Series title, making five starts in the playoffs, posting a 3.27 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and .238 batting average allowed.

Tallying 26 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched, Pfaadt projects to be a solid option if he’s able to continue that same postseason feel.

The 25-year-old makes his third start of Spring Training against the Dodgers, still working his way into finding that same strikeout stuff.

Chris Taylor was inserted into the Dodgers lineup because of Rojas’ injury, getting the nod at third base.

Cole Roberts is on the Diamondbacks’ travel roster and is expected to do the lineup card exchange with his father, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Mookie Betts
DH: Shohei Ohtani
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
RF: Jason Heyward
LF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: James Outman
3B: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux

Diamondbacks lineup

SS: Geraldo Perdomo
3B: Elvis Andrus
LF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
1B: Emmanuel Rivera
RF: RF: Jake McCarthy
DH: Kyle Garlick
CF: Albert Almora Jr.
2B: Blaze Alexander
C: Jose Herrera

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