Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been involved in news off the field lately after being photographed with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s ex-girlfriend. Although one could say Kemp was dealing with some off-the-field distractions before Sunday’s game, the 29-year-old gave an underwhelming performance yesterday that was not so uncharacteristic from his play on the season so far.
The center fielder went 1-for-4 in Sunday’s 6-1 loss, including a fielding error in the eighth inning. Kemp, who claims to be 100 percent healthy for the first time in two years, is batting an unimpressive .221 and has made a total of three errors on the season so far.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Kemp has recognized his deficiencies and understands that improvement needs to happen:
Honestly, I just have to get better at everything,” Kemp said. “I have to do a better job of playing defense. I have to do a better job of hitting. I have to do a better job of driving in runs.”
Kemp is undoubtedly his own worst critic, especially when his disappointing numbers are happening during a time in his career when he has finally regained full health. The center fielder continued to talk about the tribulations of the sport and how it’s a challenge everyday whether a player is healthy or not.
Kemp has sat on the bench four times this season as a result of manager Don Mattingly’s effort to juggle the surplus of outfielders. When asked about whether or not the rotating outfield had anything to do with his troubles, Kemp declined to say. He has blamed no one but himself and has taken full responsibility for his unimpressive start to the season. The Dodgers will need him to return to form if they plan on making any noise this season.
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