Dodgers Place Matt Kemp on 15-Day DL
With one of the biggest payrolls in baseball coming into the 2013 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were shouldered with extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t even come close to reaching them, ending the second month of the regular season in last place in the National League West.
On Thursday, things got even worse for the Dodgers as one of their star sluggers, Matt Kemp, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Though Kemp has been cold at the dish to start the season – hitting just .251 with 2 home runs and 17 RBIs – the team is hopeful he will be ready to return once the 15 days is up. However, considering Kemp missed 51 games over the course of two DL stints last season with the same injury, the team and Kemp himself are obviously very concerned.
“I don’t want to be in the same situation where I come back, hurt it again and sit out another month,” said Kemp, who is in the second season of an eight-year, $160 million deal, according to ESPN.com. “That’s just not what I want to happen this year, so just kind of get it better now and, you know, be better.”
The Dodgers definitely need Kemp to produce for them this season, but some time off might be the best thing for both parties at the moment. Kemp is in a major slump over his last six games, a stretch in which he is one for his last 17 with 10 strikeouts.
“We don’t feel like it’s going to be three weeks or anything like that. With these things, you never know because they seem to linger,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “But he’ll be able to work on his stroke and do some things as time goes. It’s hard to say you don’t play for some days and actually get better, but it could be a fresh start for him.”
The team will most likely call up Tony Gwynn Jr. from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill an outfield roster spot and may move Andre Ethier to cover for Kemp in the meantime.
Kemp being out 15 days won’t have a huge affect on the Dodgers’ postseason chances, but if the injury does turn into a nagging issue, then it very well could. The Dodgers certainly have the talent to turn things around, but for now consider the San Francisco Giants the favorites to repeat as NL West champs.