D-backs’ Josh Rojas enters spring training healthy after shoulder surgery

Mar 12, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:57 pm

INF/OF Josh Rojas
Rojas hit .355 with a 1.009 OPS in 35 games as the starting right fielder, while ...

INF/OF Josh Rojas

Rojas hit .355 with a 1.009 OPS in 35 games as the starting right fielder, while his average for the year was .264 and .752 in 139 total appearances as he played second base, shortstop, left field and third base.

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks infielder/outfielder Josh Rojas’ left shoulder felt a bit “sticky” a week ahead of the MLB All-Star Break last season.

He tried to tame it with stretching and soft tissue work throughout the rest of the year, but the pain kept increasing.

Rojas underwent surgery during the offseason to “clean up” the joint, and he enters his fourth MLB season feeling healthy.

“There were some loose bodies, it was pretty much just some impingements and bone on bone,” Rojas told reporters at Salt River Fields on Friday. “It needed surgery. There was a couple options that we discussed. But ultimately, I and the team felt like it was the best option to get the surgery so that nothing comes back in the middle of the year.”

Rojas said he felt he lost some power due to the injury, which affected his numbers.

The 27-year-old hit 10 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .445 in his first 77 games. He hit one long ball and slugged .371 over his final 66 contests.

It was important to him to stay on the field and produce in 2021, and finished with a career-high 550 plate appearances. He was back at spring training on Friday, the day after MLB’s lockout concluded and a new collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon.

Friday was not a mandatory day for major leaguers to show up, but Rojas and several of his teammates like catcher Carson Kelly and starting pitcher Merrill Kelly were at Salt River Fields.

“I got the surgery and they gave me a nerve block, so you wake up and it’s literally like if you’ve ever fallen asleep on your arm and it’s completely dead,” Rojas explained. “It’s like that for like 24 hours … When I woke up I was like ‘Oh my goodness, it already feels good.”

Rojas said it took a month and a half to recover. He’s been able to field ground balls and hit to ramp up to spring training.

Rojas was one of several D-backs starters who dealt with injuries throughout the 2021 season. Carson Kelly was another, and he also said he is feeling healthy going into the season.

“The wrist feels really good, the toe feels good, it’s been a really productive offseason,” Kelly said on Friday.

He played in only 98 games last year and finished third on the team in home runs with 13.

Arizona’s first spring training game is set for Thursday against the Colorado Rockies.

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