Notes: Thompson's hot start; Rojas hits 2 HRs

March 6th, 2021

If there's one thing D-backs outfielder has learned in his professional career, it's that there is no future in looking too far ahead. After all, there he was in 2016, hitting in the middle of the order for the Dodgers, his career seemingly on the verge of taking off.

Then, Thompson sustained multiple fractures in his back, and it not only derailed that season, but it left him reeling in the following years.

"I was so young in my Major League career that it was devastating to me," Thompson said. "But as far as the injury, coming back from that, I was as healthy as anybody in 2017, 2018 and so on. I just feel like I created some bad habits coming back. You know, part of that was me, part of that was my body and not listening to my body and having to change stuff."

After the injury, Thompson bounced around, seeing some time with the Dodgers, A's and White Sox, with his last stint in the big leagues coming in 2018 with Chicago.

After spending '19 in the Minor Leagues with the Indians, Thompson was a free agent and did not sign a Minor League deal with the D-backs until Feb. 3. That was after Arizona run production coordinator Drew Hedman watched Thompson hit at a field in Irvine, Calif.

"And coming from where I was just a few years prior in L.A., hitting in the middle of the lineup as a 25-year-old, I thought, 'That's just crazy how quick things can turn,'" Thompson said.

With that as the backdrop, you can understand why Thompson is happy that he's off to a strong start this spring, going 4-for-12 with two home runs and two RBIs in four games. But he's not about to start looking to the future.

"I've just learned to kind of appreciate where I'm at and just work for the day and not think too far ahead and just try to really just focus on the things I can control myself," Thompson said. "I know that's pretty cliche. And everyone really talks about that in baseball, because there are so few things we can control. But that's something I truly believe in."

With his ability to play all three outfield spots, his speed and the fact that he is a right-handed hitter on a team with plenty of lefties, Thompson had a chance to make the Opening Day roster when spring opened.

Now, with right fielder Kole Calhoun almost certain to start the year on the injured list, there is another spot open for the taking.

"Honestly, it doesn't even cross my mind," Thompson said about making the roster. "I just try to think about what I've got [today]. Today, we had a night game. I was flustered all day trying to figure out how I'm going to time out my schedule all day, just because it was a night game.

"I just try to go out and have a good day and have productive at-bats and whatever happens, happens. I feel like I'm in a good spot right now, seeing the ball well, but it's still early in Spring Training. It's a daily grind. So you've just got to keep working at it every day and try to get better every day."

Big night for Rojas
Josh Rojas
, who is looking to win a roster spot as a starter at second base or as a backup at multiple positions, hit a pair of home runs in Friday night's 5-3 win over the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.

Rojas' first home run was a two-run blast to left field in the third. An inning later, he hit a three-run homer to right, giving him five RBIs.

"I feel really good," Rojas said. "This is actually the best I've felt this early in spring. So I definitely came in more ready for Spring Training than I had before."

More game notes
• Pavin Smith went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. He is one of the top candidates to get playing time in right field with Calhoun injured.

• Catcher Daulton Varsho showed good judgment on the bases in turning a single into a hustle double in the second inning.

• Right-hander Taylor Clarke, battling for a spot in the bullpen, allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out four in three innings.