The Los Angeles Dodgers look to be heading into the 2014 season with four high-priced outfielders. Injuries to Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford tested the depth last season that led to the promotion of outfielder Yasiel Puig. While everyone knows that Puig took the league by storm, the Dodgers find themselves with a nice problem to have.
Kemp underwent shoulder and ankle surgeries as he missed significant time with both injuries as well as a hamstring injury. While he’s improving, the 29-year-old outfielder told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times he still doesn’t know when he’ll be in uniform:
Matt Kemp doesn’t know when he’ll start running or when he’ll play in his first game.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 1, 2014
It’s been tough to get a good read on Kemp’s health heading into Spring Training as the Dodgers are being cautious with him. His agent, former pitcher Dave Stewart, said he doesn’t foresee his client being ready to start when the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia on March 22-23.
When healthy, Kemp is one of the best players in all of baseball as evidenced by his MVP-like 2011 season. In 2013, Kemp was limited to just 73 games and admitted at Fan Fest this afternoon that he rushed back from injury last season.
With four capable outfielders, it makes sense for him to heal completely as the Dodgers certainly missed his bat in the middle of the lineup during the postseason. Even though there are question marks surrounding his health, Kemp has seen his name in several trade rumors this off-season and spoke to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com about how that affected him:
Kemp said he was disappointed to hear his name in trade rumors.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 1, 2014
Kemp has reiterated that he’s an everyday player and plans to be in the lineup on a consistent basis, but the most important thing is to make sure he’s 100 percent ready once he does come back.
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