GLENDALE, Ariz. — Earlier this week, Miguel Rojas spoke at length about his concerns for his wife and family back in Venezuela. The 24-year-old minor leaguer received an invitation to the Dodgers’ major-league camp for the first time this year. While he’s trying to focus on baseball, his attention is justifiably divided by the ongoing protests in Venezuela.
Rojas isn’t alone. There were 94 Venezuelan-born players on major-league rosters last year, according to baseball-reference.com. Many more are in spring training on minor-league rosters and major-league coaching staffs, such as Detroit Tigers first base coach Omar Vizquel.
The Tigers’ Venezuelan contingent recently took to Twitter to show their support for their homeland; at least five other teams have done the same thing since. FoxSports.com spoke with a number of Venezuelan natives attending the San Francisco Giants’ camp. That’s a good read if you can spare 5-10 minutes.
Earlier today, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro reportedly blamed major-league owners for pressuring Venezuelan players to show their support. The Dodgers only have two Venezuelan natives in camp: Rojas and 34-year-old catcher J.C. Boscan, also a non-roster invitee. Neither has been pressured by Dodgers ownership to give an interview.
Boscan shared his concerns Saturday.