Since returning from numerous injuries the past two seasons, Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp has yet to look like the player that was second in MVP voting in 2011 and won a Gold Glove.
Kemp has yet to regain what made him one of the top players in all of baseball and it is beginning to cost him. After essentially being named the everyday center fielder, the former All-Star has sat the past three games after a game in New York in which he struggled out on the field.
Now, it appears that Kemp may not be the everyday center fielder and will see a change in scenery. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly has some new plans for his 29-year-old:
Kemp will start working in left field.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) May 25, 2014
The move comes on the heels of that game in New York where Kemp misplayed a few balls and bobbled one to allow the runner to advance an extra base. Although he has shown some flashes of his former self, Kemp has largely struggled in the outfield, often having trouble tracking the ball off the bat and taking the proper angles. While some of that can be attributed to rust, it has been long enough in the season as to where that excuse may no longer prove valid.
Mattingly made no indication that Yasiel Puig would move to center, meaning that Andre Ethier will be the team’s center fielder if Kemp is not there. Ethier played center field for most of the second half last season following Kemp’s stints on the disabled list. He has filled in admirably thus far.
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