When looking at the Dodgers’ success, it’s incredible to think they’re playing as well as they are without the services of star center fielder Matt Kemp.
Kemp has been sidelined since July 21 with a severely sprained ankle and last night he finally took his first step back last night by starting a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho. In five at-bats as the DH, Kemp grounded into two double plays, struck out, grounded out and finally flew out to center.
However, after dissecting the tape, Don Mattingly talked to J.P. Hoonstra of the LA Daily News about what he saw:
I watched the video a little bit of some of the swings. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. It’s not like he’s in midseason form or anything. With the amount of time that he’s missed so far. It’s just part of the process of getting his timing back.
The main concern was Kemp’s ability to run down the line and from all accounts, he looked just fine. Being out for over a month and not able to see live pitching, it was assumed that he wouldn’t be sharp at the plate.
Kemp is slated to play the field tonight and if all goes well over the weekend, he should be activated for the Dodgers next road trip through Colorado and Cincinnati.
Without his bat in the lineup, the Dodgers have relied on Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, but adding Kemp to the equation makes it even deeper. Hopefully all goes well tonight and possibly tomorrow so Kemp can get back and start helping the Dodgers playoff push.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out what Matt Kemp had to say about his first rehab appearance.