Watch: Breakout Mariners player gets revenge against his old team

Apr 26, 2024, 8:20 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

Seattle Mariners Josh Rojas Julio Rodríguez...

Josh Rojas of the Seattle Mariners celebrates a home run with Julio Rodríguez. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Josh Rojas has been nothing but solid since he was traded to the Seattle Mariners last season from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On Friday night, Rojas got a chance to prove it against his former team. And he did not miss.

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Leading off for the M’s in place of the injured J.P. Crawford, Rojas jumped on the first pitch from Arizona ace Zac Gallen and drove it into the seats in right field to open Seattle’s six-game homestand at T-Mobile Park.

Rojas, who was part of Seattle’s return in the Paul Sewald trade in 2023, was all over the 94 mph fastball from Gallen, hitting it with an exit velocity of 108.4 mph at a launch angle of 25 degrees for a 405-foot, no-doubt shot.

Rojas ended the game well, too. He retired former Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suárez, fielding a groundout and throwing to first for the final out of Seattle’s 6-1 win.

The 29-year-old Rojas had struggled last season with Arizona prior to the trade, hitting just .228 with no home runs in 59 games for the D-backs. The veteran infielder seemed comfortable as soon as he arrived in Seattle, however, slashing .272/.321/.400 for a .721 OPS with four homers in 46 games with the M’s in 2023.

He’s been even better this year.

After his homer Friday night, Rojas owned a .327/.393/.527 slash for a .920 OPS with two homers, three doubles, a triple and six walks to just 11 strikeouts over 19 games. He’s been playing good defense as the strong side of a platoon at third base, as well.

Rojas currently leads the Mariners in average, on-base percentage and OPS. Just like we all expected.

He wasn’t the only former Diamondbacks player to go yard on Friday for Seattle. Mitch Haniger, who broke into the big leagues with Arizona in 2016 before being traded to the Mariners the following offseason, broke the game open with a grand salami in the sixth inning.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Julio Rodríguez reunites with an old friend: Mariners’ HR trident
Seattle Mariners catcher one of MLB’s ‘most underrated players’
Defense of Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez in CF is ‘off the charts’
Passan: Why Mariners didn’t trade their young pitchers
Drayer: Seattle Mariners break down keys to offensive turnaround

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Watch: Breakout Mariners player gets revenge against his old team