(Photo by-Alex Gallardo/AP)
The past two seasons have been very unstable for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp battled several injuries including shoulder, hamstring, and an ankle that resulted in surgeries.
After battling through rehab assignments, simulation activities, there was a point for many fans if we’ll see the Matt Kemp of 2011 again. After overcoming an off season of many trade rumors seeing Kemp out of Los Angeles, the Dodgers made it clear that they have confidence that Kemp could still perform at a high level when healthy.
Kemp skipped the trip to Australia, stayed stateside in Arizona at Camelback Ranch to continue to rehab and work on his game. The ever ready star made it clear he was an everyday outfielder, despite the plans that manager Don Mattingly may have had dealing with a four man outfield.
Kemp reminded everyone that BeastMode is alive and well on Sunday in the 6-2 victory over the rival San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
“That’s when I know I’m seeing the ball good, when I drive the ball to right field like that,” Kemp told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “That’s my swing right there.”
In the second inning Kemp connected on home run over the wall in left field. Later in the fourth inning, Kemp crushed a fastball off of Matt Cain, for a tow run homer over the right field wall.
Kemp was back, and he let everyone know it in a big way.
He struck the ball with confidence in batting practice during spring and before games in the regular season.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Kemp said. “But I hope the beast is back.“
Kemp showed no effects from his off season surgery, and before Sunday’s game, hadn’t homered at Dodger Stadium since September 2012.
Kemp had surgery on his left shoulder last season from running into a wall at Coors Field in Colorado, chasing down a ball. He returned for the 2013 season, only playing in 73 games due to hamstring and ankle issues.
Now Kemp is focused on the 2014 season, and plans to go healthy all season, helping the Dodgers win a World Series Titles, and as many games along the way.
“I just feel great,” Kemp said. “Let’s just talk about this win and go on to the next thing.”
If Kemp can bring this offensive stability every game, along with Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig swinging the bat every night, the Dodgers could have one of the most powerful line ups in baseball.
Zack Greinke picked up the victory over the Giants also shared his thoughts on the importance of Kemp in the line up. “I’ve never seen Matt being the player he is,” Greinke said. “And Hanley is on a different level. If he’s like he was today, you don’t want to face this lineup if that’s the case.”
Once Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson return healthy that will also bring some strong depth into the bullpen for the Dodgers.
Kemp is truly an everyday outfielder, it would be incredibly incumbent of Mattingly to see to it that Kemp gets as much playing time as possible. It’s great seeing Kemp back in the line up, his presence was truly missed the past two seasons.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has continued to progress in rehabbing from his off season ankle surgery, that has kept him out of his action this Spring.
After positive test results that enable him to progress in more workouts that include tracking down fly balls and running on the field, manager Don Mattingly feels strongly that Kemp will return sooner. “I don’t put that kind of timetable on it,” Mattingly told MLB.com. “As long as he’s moving forward.“
Kemp continues to eye his return this season, although he will not be available for the Australia trip on March 22-23 against Arizona.
“I’m out there running again, I am happy. I’m good,” Matt Kemp said regarding his progress. He could make a return during the first week of the season at Dodger Stadium.
“He’s swinging the bat good. It won’t be long before he’s in a game,” said Mattingly.
The important factor is to get Kemp healthy and last throughout the season, unlike his previous two seasons where he played a total of 179 games.
*(Photo By: Jon SooHoo)
On Friday Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp gets an update on the progress of his surgically repaired ankle. Since the off-season and in Spring Training, Kemp has worked vigorously to return stronger for the 2014 season. Able to only workout and taking batting practice, good news for Kemp would be a relief where he’ll be able to practice with the rest of his teammates.
Manager Don Mattingly is optimistic that Kemp will return, however still unsure of his timetable. “I’m assuming once we get the green light to go forward, it’s still going to be a progression to get him ready,” Mattingly told the LA Times.
The results of the MRI on his ankle will determine whether he moves on to the next phase of his rehab. If all goes well, Kemp could be ready in time for the March 30th season opener against the Padres in San Diego. Or he may be available for the Dodgers home opener on March 4th.
Kemp has maintained his stance, that he wants to be a Dodger for life, and this is the year of opportunity to prove his worth to the team and organization.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp hasn’t had the greatest 2013 season, battling his way through injuries suffered to his ankle, hamstring, and shoulder.
Kemp has been the subject of trade rumors the entire off season, so it will take a spectacular 2014 to keep him off the trading block. The Dodgers currently have four outfielders that include Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier on the roster.
“My shoulder feels great, my ankle is still healing but coming along,” said Kemp to the LA Daily News. “I’m on the verge of doing something great.”
Kemp’s agent Dave Steward says he won’t be ready in time for the March 22nd -23rd trip to Australia. But Kemp has enough time to make his season debut on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on April 4th.
Kemp who refuses to be a fourth outfielder will have an opportunity to prove that status this season. The key for him to staying Los Angeles in a Dodger uniform is to remain healthy for the season, and participate in the playoffs.
Kemp looks to resurrect “BeastMode” this season, and have a 2014 that is complimentary of the 2011 MVP type year.
Outfielder Matt Kemp returned at the right time knocking the ball all over Chase Field as the Dodgers crushed the Diamondbacks 9-3.
Kemp went a perfect 4 for 4, with three RBI’s and two double on Tuesday night.
Zack Greinke (15-3) pitched brilliantly and allowed two runs on six hits in six innings of work.
“It feels good to just be able to be here with the team and be able to go out there and run out with them and compete with them and do all that, ” Kemp said. “I missed baseball, man.”
Kemp started off hot, when he doubled deep to left that scored Hanley Ramirez and Mark Ellis for the 2-0 lead in the first inning.
After solo home runs from Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez, Kemp continued to dominate as he singled to center that scored Ellis for the 8-0 lead in the fourth inning.
The best bright spot for the Diamondbacks came in the sixth inning when Aaron Hill knocked out a solo home run, and still trailed 8-2.
Michael Young contributed with an RBI triple in the eight inning that scored Ramirez.
Patrick Corbin (14-7) gave up six runs on seven hits in two innings of work in the loss. This was his shortest outing of the season.
Kemp had been sidelined with an injury since July 21st with an severe ankle sprain. Kemp worked his way back into the lineup, rehabbing extensively to prepare himself for the playoffs.
“He swung the bat good,” said Don Mattingly. “I thought he looked good in the outfield, too, just turning, a couple of plays he ended up backpedaling and stuff. It looked like he was pretty easy out there.”
The Dodgers magic number to clinch the NL West is 2 games, and Zack Greinke spoke about the importance of winning the division.
“It’s nice…but it’s not really the special part. Something special would be winning in the playoffs or the World Series.”
The Dodgers ended a four game losing streak, and look to clinch the division on Wednesday as they send Stephen Fife to the mound in place of Clayton Kershaw. Dodgers have decided to give Kershaw some much needed time off to keep him rested for the playoffs.
Kemp injuries his right hamstring when he chased down a double hit in right field by Mike Trout in the seventh inning.
Kemp is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday morning before it can be determined if will be placed on the 15-day DL.
“They said it was mild. Hopefully, Matt caught himself before he got it good. We’ll see,” said Dodger manager Don Mattingly.
Kemp also mentioned that he didn’t feel his hamstring injury wasn’t as serious as the last two hamstring injuries he suffered last season.
“When you feel it grabbing and things like that, you’ve got to take it easy and make sure you’re careful with it, because it can get worse,” Kemp said.
If Kemp heads to the DL, Mattingly will more than likely use the services of utility player Skip Schumaker to play center field. Mattingly also have other options like the possibility of calling up Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson from the Double -A Chattanooga Lookouts, and Tony Gwynn Jr. from Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Dodgers would rather call up Gwynn or Pederson due to maturity level than Puig at this point, even though Pederson and Puig have outstanding numbers in the minors.
Pederson is hitting .319 with eight home runs, and Puig is hitting .309 along with eight home runs.
This is the last bit of news Kemp and the Dodgers need right now. Especially since the slumping slugger has struck out fifteen time in his last seven at bats, along with recently being benched by Mattingly just a few games ago.
His last hamstring injury caused him to miss a total of 51 games last season. The Dodgers are optimistic that Kemp won’t miss anywhere close to that amount of time.
With various reports stating Dodgers manager Don Mattingly could be fired by the end of the week, if the series doesn’t go well against the Milwaukee Brewers. The question remains could he fire up his players enough to save his job?
Apparently the news of this woke up the slumping Dodgers who were sweep over the weekend in Atlanta against the Braves. The Dodgers behind their ace Clayton Kershaw went nine strong innings, and had offensive backup with Matt Kemp and Andre Either who went deep with home runs for the 3-1 victory over the Brewers.
The Dodger bats began red hot with one on, Andre Ethier tripled to deep right which allowed Kemp to score for the 1-0 lead in the second inning.
However the Brewers struck back when Norichicka Aoki ground out to second which Rickie Weeks scored and tied the game 1-1 in the third inning.
Ethier decided to continue to make his presence felt against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, knocking out a home run to deep right in the fourth inning for the 2-1 lead. Kemp decided to seal the deal in the sixth inning when he blasted a solo home run that increased the Dodger lead 3-1. That was Kemp’s second home run of the season.
Kershaw only allowed three singles and one run for the entire game. In the ninth inning he only threw 10 pitches against the last Brewer line up for the victory.
Kershaw (5-2) threw five strike outs. In the last 39 inning against the Brewers, he has only given up a total of three runs. He threw 107 pitches and leads MLB in ERA.
The last place Dodgers went a dismal 0 for 6 when they had runners in scoring position against the Brewers.
Mattingly lives to manager another thanks to his ace Clayton Kershaw. “Every time I get in trouble, Kersh saves me! One more day,” said Mattingly.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (3-4) finished with seven strike outs, gave up two home runs in six innings of work in the loss.