Rengifo was considered the slight favorite after Franklin Barreto was sidelined with right elbow inflammation, but Rojas appears to have hit his way onto the roster. Rojas has batted .321/.487/.607 with two homers and six RBIs in 21 games this spring, and he is a career .292/.350/.502 hitter in 411 Minor League games. He’s been hurt by having a lack of a true position, but he’s been working capably at second base, third base and first this spring.
Manager Joe Maddon raved about Rojas before Wednesday's game, and now it appears he could be added to the 40-man roster and make his Major League debut despite being a 36th-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.
"I don't know what there's not to like about this guy," Maddon said. "He's a guy who has to prove himself to the new group and the front office, but as coaches, we've been on this for a bit. We've kind of been in the fan club, and right now other people are recognizing it."
Additionally, infielder Jack Mayfield and catcher Anthony Bemboom were optioned. Mayfield was competing for the backup infielder role with Rojas and Rengifo, while Bemboom was the club's third catcher on the depth chart.
The Angels also reassigned lefties Reid Detmers, Thomas Pannone, Packy Naughton and Dillon Peters; right-handers Jake Faria, Jake Reed, Ben Rowen, Zac Kristofak and Austin Warren and infielders Phil Gosselin and Kean Wong.
Of that group, Detmers is the club’s No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, but he will be stretched out at the alternate training site, while Faria had a shot at the roster but had some command troubles this spring. Gosselin and Wong were also competing with Rengifo and Rojas.