Monday, September 16, 2013
Update: Kemp is activated, but to pinch hit
By Mark Saxon
PHOENIX -- Matt Kemp is back, but how much will he be able to do?
Kemp's name was listed among the Dodgers reserves for Monday's game and, after watching his pregame workout, the team activated him. Manager Don Mattingly said he would be limited early on to pinch-hitting duties. Should he get on base, the Dodgers would need a pinch runner.
Kemp took batting practice and launched a ball over the high yellow line 407 feet from home plate at Chase Field, but hitting is not the issue.
Mattingly said Kemp looked "tentative" running the bases before the game, sparking the debate about whether to activate him or give him a few more simulated games to get the at-bats to prepare for the rest of the season. Kemp's injured ankle has healed, but his right hamstring tightened up again during his rehab.
"Honestly, if I have any more setbacks, my season might be over with, and I don't want that to happen, so we're being a little cautious with it," Kemp said. "I feel like I can play right now."
The Dodgers could particularly use Kemp now with Andre Ethier dealing with an ankle injury that figures to keep him out at least another week and Carl Crawford sporadically available due to a tight back.
Kemp has missed 86 games with ankle, shoulder and hamstring ailments.
"This season has been tough. It's been something of a nightmare," Kemp said. "Once one thing gets better, then it's another thing. It's been a bunch of things going on and I haven't been healthy. Honestly, I feel like I can help this team."
Here are lineups for Monday's game, with the Dodgers looking to lop off two games from their magic number of four:
1. Nick Punto SS
2. Mark Ellis 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Yasiel Puig RF
5. A.J. Ellis C
6. Skip Schumaker CF
7. Juan Uribe 3B
8. Nick Buss LF
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu
1. A.J. Pollock CF
2. Willie Bloomquist LF
3. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
4. Martin Prado 3B
5. Aaron Hill 2B
6. Gerardo Parra RF
7. Chris Owings SS
8. Tuffy Gosewisch C
9. Trevor Cahill RHP