Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas will undergo surgery to repair a torn triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) in his right wrist on Wednesday, Daniel Alvarez-Montes of El Extra Base reports. (As defined by the Cleveland Clinic, the TFCC is a collection of ligaments and cartilage that “attaches your forearm bones (ulna and radius) to each other and to the small bones of your wrist.”) Rojas tells Alvarez-Montes that he originally suffered the injury back on July 21 when sliding into third base and has since been trying to play through the subsequent pain.
It’s been a tough season all-around for Rojas, who’s hitting just .237/.282/.324 in 504 plate appearances. It’s a far cry from the .273/.336/.413 batting line he posted in 682 plate appearances from 2020-21. Things have been particularly tough for Rojas since the date of the injury, as his batting average, OBP and slugging percentage have all been below .300 in that span of 208 trips to the plate. He’s still shown strong bat-to-ball skills along the way, striking out just 12.5% of the time (and 12.1% on the season as a whole), but Rojas hasn’t homered since late June and has just nine extra-base hits (eight doubles, one triple) since incurring this injury.
Defensively, you wouldn’t know Rojas has been ailing. He’s always been considered a quality defender at short but in 2022 has posted career-high marks in Defensive Runs Saved (16) and Outs Above Average (11). Rojas leads Major League shortstops in DRS and trails only Dansby Swanson (20), Nico Hoerner (13) and Francisco Lindor (13) in OAA.
It also bears mentioning that it’s the second hand-related injury to Rojas over the past two seasons. He was out to a career-best start in 2021 before breaking and dislocating his left index finger in late May. He only missed about three weeks of action, but upon returning, Rojas didn’t produce at nearly the same level he did prior to the injury. It’s difficult to determine just how heavily the pair of hand/wrist ailments have weighed on his production, but from Opening Day 2019 until the time of that 2021 finger injury, Rojas hit .285/.347/.409 in 866 plate appearances; he’s hit .249/.290/.343 in a near-identical sample of 846 plate appearances since.
The expectation is that Rojas will be ready for Spring Training, when he’ll be entering the second and final season of a two-year, $10MM contract with the Fish. The Marlins have routinely praised Rojas as the team’s unofficial captain and clubhouse leader, and he’s been vocal about his love for the city and the organization in the past. He’ll play next season at 34, though, making a rebound effort next year all the more important as his contract expires. If Rojas can put the injuries behind him and return to his 2019-21 form, it’s easy enough to see the two parties extending the relationship beyond the 2023 season.