Matt Kemp scheduled for MRI

Updated: May 30, 2013, 11:37 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp left Wednesday night's game with a strained right hamstring and could be headed to the 15-day disabled list.

Kemp injured himself chasing a Mike Trout double into the right-center-field gap in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He called out for a trainer before walking off the field.

Kemp has had an injury-plagued past 12 months. He missed 51 games with injuries to his left hamstring last season then underwent left shoulder surgery in October.

Most people think Kemp's recovery from the shoulder operation has been part of his slow start. The 2011 MVP runner-up to Ryan Braun is batting .251 with just two home runs and 17 RBIs. Kemp has struck out 15 times in his past seven starts.

"I guess I shouldn't say it, but any time you hear the dreaded 'hamstring' word, usually it lasts a little bit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "But they said it was mild. Hopefully, Matt caught himself before he got it good. We'll see."

Kemp is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday.

Kemp said the injury didn't feel as severe as the injury to his other hamstring did last season, when he had two separate stints on the DL for it. Right fielder Andre Ethier saw Kemp limping and recommended he take himself out of the game.

"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 goes on the DL, Mattingly said he'll need a player who can play center field on a daily basis. The Dodgers' only other center field option is Skip Schumaker, but Mattingly said he wouldn't consider playing him there every day.

The minor league options include the team's two top hitting prospects, Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, both of whom are playing at Double-A Chattanooga, and Tony Gwynn Jr., the center fielder at Triple-A Albuquerque.

The Dodgers have considered recalling either Puig or Pederson before as an offensive spark, but have felt they were too raw.

Pederson, who just turned 21, is batting .319 with eight home runs and a .908 OPS. Puig, 22, has been playing right field, but played center in spring training. He is hitting .309 with eight home runs and a .976 OPS.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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