Trevor Rogers Prepares For A 2023 Comeback Campaign

“A quiet intensity.” That is how Trevor Rogers describes his pitching style.

He may not show much emotion in the mound, but he always remains focused on the task at hand. Rogers loves to compete against the best baseball players in the world any chance he gets.

Since debuting in the majors in 2020, Rogers has faced his fair share of ups-and-downs as a starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins. As a rookie in 2021, he led the team with a 2.64 ERA and finished second in strikeouts (157), innings pitched (133.0) and wins (seven). Rogers subsequently earned a spot in the MLB All-Star Game. He went on to finish second in National League Rookie of the Year voting.

In 2022, Rogers faced some new challenges on the mound as he entered a sophomore slump. His ERA jumped to 5.47, while his strikeout total and innings pitched fell to 106 and 107, respectively. Nevertheless, the Marlins pitcher is more than ready to put last year behind him. Already off to a red-hot start in Spring Training, Rogers knows he has a chip on his shoulder entering the 2023 campaign.

With the entire baseball world watching, he is ready to prove that he is still the Trevor Rogers that took the MLB by storm in 2021.

A Terrific 2021

Rogers received his first major-league call-up on August 25, 2020. He had a relatively quiet 2020 campaign, only pitching 28 innings in seven appearances in the pandemic-shortened season. However, he swiftly blossomed in 2021.

Rogers racked up back-to-back NL Rookie of the Month awards in April and May, putting together a 1.87 ERA while striking out 76 batters during that span. His confidence and drive on the mound immediately set him apart from his peers and drew the attention of fans across the country.

“I love to compete every five days,” Rogers said. “I like being focused on going out there and competing, trying to beat the best. At the end of the day, that’s what I want to be. I want to be the best.”

Establishing himself as one of the top young talents in the league, Rogers received an All-Star nod that July. He missing a handful of games after the All-Star break due to stints on the IL and bereavement list. Nevertheless, he finished off the 2021 season with a solid September. Rogers accrued a 3.52 ERA while striking out 28 batters in the season’s final month.

A Tough 2022

Entering the 2022 campaign, Rogers faced sky-high expectations. He struggled from the get-go that year, with a 5.09 ERA and just 14 strikeouts in April. Rogers did have some strong outings throughout the season, including an eight-strikeout victory against the Milwaukee Brewers and a pair of two-hitters against the Washington Nationals.

Despite those highlights, the regression in his stats remained clear. In just one season, Rogers deviated from one of the team’s most efficient pitchers to being stuck in a seemingly endless slump. With all that said, he has embodied a timeless philosophy since the 2022 season ended: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“I think obviously I’ve grown as a player. Just ‘cause you make it to the big leagues doesn’t mean you stop learning,” Rogers said. “With the struggles I went through last year, not really going through those types of struggles before, and coming out the other side better because of it… It has really grown my mental game. It’s probably the most important [area of growth], in my opinion.”

Defining Trevor Rogers And His Game

Entering 2023, Rogers has remained hard at work in fine-tuning his pitching. As evidenced by his spring training performance this month, he looks as though he has not lost a beat from his All-Star season.

“I’ve spoken about this from day one. You’re allowed to have that one hiccup, and he has shown that it was a hiccup,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “He’s motivated, and the work is real… he has bought into everything [the coaches] are saying. He’s in a really good spot physically and mentally.”

In past seasons, Rogers has primarily relied on his four-seam fastball and change-up. His average fastball comes in at a scorching 94.6 miles per hour and serves as a dependable strikeout pitch. His change-up, clocking in at 85.7 miles per hour, produced a .199 opposing batting average in 2021.

However, he noted that his slider has “a lot more pace to it.” He plans to incorporate it more in his pitching repertoire going forward. The slider proved to be his most productive pitch of 2022, only allowing a .208 opposing batting average. Rogers also has begun to work a sinker into his pitching repertoire as well.

“I think I’m in a good spot to where I’m comfortable with where my mechanics are,” Rogers said. “I can just focus on what my pitches need to do and really focus on where to go with my pitches in the zone.”

Maintaining His Place With The Fish

The Marlins will feature plenty of talent in their pitching rotation this season. From reigning NL Cy Young Winner Sandy Alcantara and two-time All-Star Johnny Cueto to up-and-comers like Jesus Luzardo and Edward Cabrera, Miami has plenty of strong arms on their roster.

Despite the surrounding talent, Trevor Rogers has continued to stand out as one of the team’s most dependable starters. Some of his teammates, including fellow starting pitcher Braxton Garrett, have applied some of Rogers’ techniques to their own game as well. Garrett and Rogers were drafted in back-to-back years as the Marlins first-round picks in 2016 and 2017, respectively. They have forged a close bond throughout their time in the organization.

“I was having trouble with my change-up earlier this spring,” Garrett said. “Me and Trevor have been friends since he was drafted, and he’s always had a good change-up. I just tried his grip out, I asked him what his thought process was on it, and I’ve been throwing it ever since.”

Garrett noted that since he started modeling his grip after Rogers, he now has “more confidence in [his] change-up than ever.” Rogers has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow Marlins, and it appears the feeling is mutual. When asked about the state of the team, he had nothing but praise for his teammates, coaches and the front office.

“I really love how we’re set up,” Rogers said. “The clubhouse has a really different vibe, good vibe. I really like the new coaching staff. They really care about players. They really are trying to do everything they can to make you better. With all the additions we’ve made… I really like how we’re shaping up, and we got a lot better than last season.”

Looking Forward To A Resurgent 2023

Rogers has already been touted as an early “bounce back candidate” for the 2023 season. As he prepares for a redemption arc this season, the Marlins will be looking to prove themselves as a team as well. Having missed the playoffs two years in a row now, Miami hopes to secure just their second winning record since 2010. They have not finished above .500 in a full season since 2009 and qualified for the expanded playoffs in 2020 after finishing 31-29.

The Fish will have their work cut out for them in a loaded NL East division, but the organization remains confident in its current roster. From a revamped offense to one of the best pitching rotations in all of baseball, Miami will look to shock the world and take 2023 by storm. Rogers is expected to play a massive role in this charge. The pressure on his performance has reached an all-time high.

Trevor Rogers remains completely unfazed. He does not care about what anyone outside of the clubhouse has to say. He is here for one reason and one reason only: to win as many ball games as possible.

“Every time that I take the mound, it’s to win,” Rogers said. “I’m going to give everything I got to make sure that that happens. That’s the only reason I’m out there. Of course, I want to have a good year, but my goal is to win and to help this team win.”

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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