Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has had quite the rehab process as he tries to make his way back from a severely sprained ankle and a tight right hamstring.
Kemp injured the same hamstring he hurt back in May at the Dodgers spring training facility at Camelback Ranch after he went hitless in five rehab games at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
However, after having his rehab shutdown, Kemp has started swinging again and Don Mattingly now expects him to come back at some point this season according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Mattingly said he thinks Kemp will play again this year. “I’m starting to feel that way,” Mattingly said.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) September 10, 2013
There won’t be a chance for Kemp to play in any minor league games before he would be activated from the DL and it was reported last week that he might need only 10 days to be ready for action.
If he does come back, Mattingly will have a tough decision to make in terms of how to play on a consistent basis as Andre Ethier has turned his season around with a strong second half. Yasiel Puig led off last night and if Carl Crawford finds himself on the bench, the transition at the top of the order looks to seamless.
While there has been optimism before about Kemp returning several times, it does sound like he’s building a lot of positive momentum for an end of September activation. Adding Kemp to the lineup will make it that much tougher for opposing pitchers to pitch to the Dodgers as they eye a deep postseason run.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about the Dodgers nearing a deal with Alexander Guerrero!