It’s no secret that the Dodgers are baseball’s hottest team as they’ve gone from 12 games below .500 on June 22 to 77-54 and 23 games above .500 in a little over two months.
The Dodgers streak is even more impressive given the fact that they’ve been without star center fielder Matt Kemp for the duration of the streak. Kemp has been on the disabled list since July 24 after he rolled his ankle in the 9th inning of a 9-2 win over the Nationals, to which he said the injury was mild.
However, Kemp seems to have completed the last step before going out on a rehab assignment later this week according to Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com:
Don Mattingly said Matt Kemp will run the bases again Wednesday. Thursday remains a possibility for Kemp in Rancho Cucamonga
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) August 27, 2013
Once Kemp gets back, manager Don Mattingly will have the difficult decision of deciding which three outfielders will play on a consistent basis. With a 9.5 game lead in the NL West, the Dodgers can play it safe with Kemp and ease him back into the lineup as things have been just fine without him.
If Kemp does go out on a rehab assignment Thursday, he could return for the Dodgers six-game road trip through Colorado and Cincinnati. While many are afraid of Kemp messing up the chemistry, adding another power bat to the middle of the lineup will only help the Dodgers offense and position in the National League.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Vin Scully returning next season!