Jeff Kent’s career might be over

This isn’t necessarily a career-ending injury, but given that he probably was going to retire anyway, given that he has been playing with this degenerative tear in the cartilage of his left knee for about a month knowing all the while it could tear more severely at any time (and probably would, eventually, and that appears to be exactly what happened), and given that this is a wear-and-tear injury that is fairly normal for a 40-year-old guy trying to play baseball on an everyday basis for six months, it seems unlikely that he’ll return.
“Knowing him, I can’t say that for sure,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Indeed, Kent is known for his durability, his scrappiness and his willingness to play hurt. But he was said to be in excruciating pain when he came out of the game last night. He is back in Los Angeles now awaiting an MRI that will hopefully be done either tonight or tomorrow — club officials are trying to find a hospital where it can be done on a holiday weekend. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Kent tries to play again. But from what I am told, if he does, the same thing is very likely to happen again, only more severely.
There also is a chance the MRI will show nothing other than, again, wear and tear, and Kent can be back out there in a few days. But the fact the pain was severe enough to get him to take a seat has to mean something. Kent generally doesn’t take a seat for anything other than the manager giving him a day off.
Unfortunately, it probably means the end of a Hall of Fame career. Torre said Blake DeWitt will get the first crack at the everyday 2B job for the rest of the season. It also is very possible Kent could be placed on the 60-day DL next week to clear a 40-man roster spot for the September roster expansion, because the Dodgers appear to need spots.
Just to clarify, Kent has never said this will be his last season. But it was generally assumed by just about everybody, including Torre.
“I think he was just trying to help us win a pennant,” Torre said. “All the hinting seemed to say that this probably was going to be it for him. I really respect what he has done here, and I have been very comfortable with our relationship. He is a pro. I guess that is the only way you can categorize it.”

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Schmidt, Proctor updates

Jason Schmidt started and threw a scoreless, hitless inning for Las Vegas tonight against Colorado Springs, walking one batter. He’ll pitch again on Monday, and I suppose it’s possible he’ll be activated as a reliever after that, but when I asked Torre before the game, he was non-committal. Scott Proctor followed him and pitched two innings, allowing one hit while striking out four. Proctor is expected to be activated on Monday, the day you can expand rosters. Andruw Jones also is going to be activated that day, and possibly Delwyn Young. … By the way, when perusing the box score for the pitching lines of Schmidt and Proctor, I couldn’t help but notice that Greg Miller had another rough outing. He walked three, gave up three earned runs and allowed only one hit in ZERO innings. A tough stretch for a really good guy. Hope he can find a way to right himself, but this has been going on for a long, long time.

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

More mindnumbing numbers from a slumbering lineup

The only reason these numbers are starting to sound redundant is that they only get more and more ridiculous with each passing day — and, of course, each passing loss. The Dodgers went 0 for 5 last night with runners in scoring position. In their seven-game losing streak, they now are batting .098 with RISP, and this isn’t the first time in the five years that this team has gone into such a monumental swoon hitting with RISP. Far from it, in fact. It doesn’t mattter who the personnel is. Going all the way back to 2004, this team has a tendency to periodically go into these unthinkable dry spells when it comes to clutch hitting. They’re now 3 for 45 over the past four games, and only one of those three hits actually drove in a run. By the way, the Dodgers now have to go 16-12 the rest of the way just to finish .500. They do not, however, necessarily have to go 16-12 to win the N.L. West. What a world.

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Kershaw optioned … for now

In case you missed it, Clayton Kershaw was the roster move for Scott Elbert, but that’s only a roster technicality. Because the roster expansion begins on Monday — but mostly Tuesday, because Las Vegas has another game on Monday — the Dodgers can option Kershaw now and still bring him back in time to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday night against San Diego. The 10-day rule — all players optioned to the minors must stay a minimum of 10 days unless a major-league player is placed on the DL, and that exception is limited to a pitcher replacing a pitcher or a position player replacing a position player — isn’t in effect because the PCL season ends Monday and Las Vegas isn’t going to the playoffs.

Share this post ...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page