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OnBaseMachine
06-15-2009, 12:30 PM
Rojas’ focus inspiring to Benzinger
By Marc Katz
Staff Writer
9:28 PM Sunday, June 14, 2009

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Saturday night in Fort Wayne, then riding the bus 21/2 hours to get home at 2 a.m., Dragons shortstop Miguel Rojas couldn’t sleep when he reached his Dayton host’s home at 2:30 a.m.

He was up and dressed by 9 a.m. Sunday, June 14, reached Fifth Third Field shortly after 11 and by 11:30 was in the inside batting cage hitting off a tee — by himself.

“I’m trying to be focused,” said Rojas, who is hitting .241. “I had two hits in my first game at Fort Wayne and two more in the second. I had a hit in the third game.”

It was the fourth game that got him, and it didn’t matter to Rojas he was hitting .357 over eight games.

“Rojas’ life is about baseball,” manager Todd Benzinger said. “You could point to him and say, ‘That’s what you want to be like.’ It’s inspiring.”

Rest doesn’t work

Benzinger listens to farm director Terry Reynolds and his top rovers, which is why Matt Fairel and J.C. Sulbaran each missed a start recently.

The extra rest didn’t work for either pitcher.

Fairel, who had pitched 18 straight scoreless innings when he was told to take off June 9, pitched at Fort Wayne on June 13, adding one scoreless inning, then was nicked for six runs in the next 3 2/3 innings.

The parent Reds, wary of so many arm injuries in the past, wanted Fairel to rest, and Dragons pitching coach Tony Fossas said Fairel had some back problems, anyway.

“I’m not saying it wasn’t the right decision, but it wasn’t needed,” said Benzinger, who would not question the Reds’ decision. “But if I had a guy hit in 10 straight games, he’s not getting the 11th day off. He’s in there.”

Sulbaran, who can be wild but is devastating when he gets the ball over, was going to start the June 7 game at Great Lakes, but after he warmed up, it began to rain, so he never threw a pitch. Rather than use him the next night, the Reds decided he wouldn’t go again until June 12.

The inactivity showed. Sulbaran worked just two innings, allowing three runs and walking six.

Dragons tales

• Closer Aguido Gonzalez is out with a groin strain.

• Kyle Day batted for first baseman Stephen Chapman in the seventh, primarily to give Day a chance to play first base for a few innings.

• Lansing catcher Chris House pitched the last inning for the Lugnuts, allowing three runs on five hits.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/dayton-dragons/rojas-focus-inspiring-to-benzinger-162958.html

Mario-Rijo
06-15-2009, 06:38 PM
Like to hear that about Rojas. A silky smooth defensive SS who just needs to not be a black hole on offense with a work ethic sounds like a potential Major Leaguer in the making.

dougdirt
06-15-2009, 07:35 PM
Don't sleep on him at all. His slash lines look ugly, but his bat, if added a little more pop, has major league potential. He has a good BB/K rate and the defense is there.