Lost in the shuffle with news Yasiel Puig being benched is the fact that Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp will start a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Kemp ran the bases yesterday and reported no pain and will be the designated hitter tomorrow. Slowed by a sprained ankle since after the All-Star break, Kemp has battled significant injuries all season.
However, the outfield will get much more crowded as Don Mattingly told Pedro Moura of the OC Register about Kemp going to Rancho:
Matt Kemp is likely DHing tomorrow in a rehab assignment at High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Mattingly said
— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) August 28, 2013
While Andre Ethier has done more than a solid job in center field, Kemp will presumably take over where he left off as Mattinly will have nightly decisions about which outfielder to sit.
Strapped with shoulder and hamstring injuries before this, Kemp rolled his ankle jogging home after he didn’t realize he needed to slide. Kemp and Mattingly both didn’t think the injury was serious, but it’s evident that it was worse than initially thought as he hasn’t played since July 16.
There are concerns about Kemp possibly messing with the chemistry as the Dodgers have seen their lead in the NL West stretched to nine, but Kemp’s bat should be a welcome addition to the lineup.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Vin Scully returning next season!