Update: Kemp to have surgery Friday.

Matt Kemp will have surgery on his left shoulder Friday and could be sidelined anywhere from six weeks to four months. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic.

If he misses four months, Kemp would be able to resume throwing and hitting in the first week of February 2013. That’s about three weeks before position players traditionally report for spring training. Kemp admitted he might not be ready to go from the start.

“Hopefully just clean (the shoulder) up,” Kemp said. “If they need to do more, they do more.”

Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone said that Kemp’s recovery time depends on the type of surgery. Debridement surgery is relatively minor and would allow Kemp to resume throwing 6 to 8 weeks afterward, while surgery to repair the torn labrum would require a four-month recovery period.

Kemp tore the labrum in his left shoulder when he crashed into the center-field wall at Coors Field wall on Aug. 28. He managed to play through the pain, hitting .367 with four home runs and nine RBIs in the season’s final eight games.

“If you MRI every guy out here,” Falsone said as the team fanned out around the field during batting practice, “eight out of 10 guys have a labral tear. It’s just a question of inflammation.”

Kemp said that his inflammation was bad enough that not having surgery wasn’t an option.

“It’s just something that needs to be done,” he said. “Of course I’m nervous. I’ve never had surgery before.”
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Kenley Jansen faces surgery, uncertain role in 2013.

Kenley Jansen finds himself in an interesting position as the 2012 season comes to a close. He’s the one Dodger we know is facing surgery in the off-season (there might be a couple others; more on them in a bit). This is no ordinary bone spur or knee scope, either, this is a cardiac ablation designed to correct the arrhythmia that hospitalized Jansen in September and inadvertently cost him his job as the Dodgers’ closer.

Jansen is scheduled to meet with head athletic trainer Sue Falsone and the surgeon, Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee, early next week to determine when and where Jansen will have the surgery. It’s expected to happen before the end of the month.

The website Livestrong.com has an easy-to-understand description of the surgery and its risks. Jansen is well aware that this is no ordinary surgery.

“You’ve just got to be confident in the doctor and believe in God, pray to God, everything’s going to be OK,” he said. “God’s going to take care of me. God’s going to take care of the doctor. Everything’s going to be better down the road. I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I’m excited just to get this done with. Hopefully there won’t be another episode.”

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Chris Capuano reflects on his shortest outing of the season.

I feel the need to amend what I wrote about Chris Capuano‘s injury situation in my game story last night.

Chris Capuano said after Tuesday’s game that he felt fine, that his donut-induced shoulder bruise (not an edible pastry;this was the kind of “donut” that hitters put on their bat in the on-deck circle) was not a factor in his performance Tuesday against the Giants.

The facts begged the question. Capuano lasted just three innings in his shortest start of the year. He topped out at 90 mph and, although Capuano has never relied on speed, he was regularly touching 91-92 in his last start at home, Sept. 14 against St. Louis. Ask any hitter or pitcher, and 2 mph can make a big difference (all other things being equal — namely movement and location).

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Loss hits Jamey Wright hard.

Jamey Wright was not the pitcher of record in the 4-3 loss last night that officially eliminated the Dodgers from the playoffs.

You wouldn’t know that by the veteran right-hander’s demeanor after the game, when he said he was “fighting tears.”

“It hurts. Hurts bad. It’s a fun season. It’s a September that I never got to experience. For me, it was a good one.”

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Reds beat Cardinals, Dodgers stay alive.

The Dodgers’ faint wild-card hopes stayed alive for at least a couple more hours Tuesday night after the St. Louis Cardinals lost 3-1 to the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals’ magic number to clinch the wild-card berth is 1.

The Reds broke open a 1-1 game with two runs in the sixth inning. With runners on second and third base and none out, Jay Bruce hit an RBI single off Chris Carpenter (0-2). Former Dodger catcher Dioner Navarro added an insurance run on an RBI single off Carpenter to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.

The game began at 5:15 p.m., early enough for the left-field video board to show the first four innings. By the time Chris Capuano threw his first pitch for the Dodgers, the game was tied 1-1 on a solo home run by the Reds’ Scott Rolen and a sacrifice fly by the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday.

The Dodgers still must beat the San Francisco Giants tonight and tomorrow, and the Reds must beat the Cardinals again tomorrow, for the Dodgers and Cardinals to meet in a one-game playoff Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers’ travel director embraces the joy of sleepless nights.

When the Dodgers took two out of four games from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 14-16, Scott Akasaki’s life got a lot easier.

For the Dodgers’ director of team travel, it meant one less potential all-nighter during the last week of the regular season.

“Yesterday brought clarity,” Akasaki said Tuesday afternoon, a day after the Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from wild-card contention. “You eliminate one of the options. Having done this before, I knew if it came down to it, I could stay up one night and just bang out everything.”

If the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals, tonight’s the night.
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Blanton would start in Game 163.

Joe Blanton will start for the Dodgers if they can force a game 163 on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Manager Don Mattingly made the announcement prior to Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

“If we get to that game, we’re going to be feeling really good,” Mattingly said. “Joe’s been throwing the ball good. Joe’s pitched in the World Series. We’re going to have the freshest arm.”

A lot would have to go right for that to happen — the Dodgers must beat the San Francisco Giants today and tomorrow, while the Cincinnati Reds must beat the St. Louis Cardinals tonight and tomorrow. If the Dodgers win that game, they will have to turn around and fly to Atlanta for the wild-card game, which factored into Mattingly’s decision not to pitch Josh Beckett on three days’ rest.

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Players Choice Awards Finalists Announced.

The Dodgers were shut out Tuesday when finalists for the Players Choice Awards, the honors handed out annually by the MLB Players’ Association, were announced.

Perhaps the most surprising omission was Clayton Kershaw, who was passed over for the National League Pitcher of the Year Award in favor of Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets and Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

With one start left on his schedule, Kershaw leads the National League in earned-run average (2.58) and WHIP (1.033), and is second in strikeouts (221 in 219 2/3 innings). If this is a preview of the Cy Young Award voting, it’s proof that Kershaw’s 13-9 record could be a major hindrance to his campaign. Kershaw gets the 12th-worst run support of any NL pitcher.

The complete list of nominees:

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Updating the Dodgers’ playoff scenarios.

This one shouldn’t be too hard to understand. The St. Louis Cardinals’ magic number to clinch the National League wild-card berth is one.

Lose, and the Dodgers are eliminated from the playoffs.

If the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds one of the next two days, the Dodgers are eliminated from the playoffs.

If somehow the Cardinals go 0-2, and the Dodgers 2-0, there will be a Game 163 at Dodger Stadium on Thursday for the right to visit Atlanta in the wild-card game.

Expect every player to be watching the scoreboard tomorrow. “We all know what the situation is,” Aaron Harang said Monday.
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Kemp cracks top 20 MLB jersey sales.

Matt Kemp has managed to avoid the disabled list in the second half of the season. That helped the Dodgers, and maybe it helped Kemp in the merchandising department too.

Based on sales of Majestic Athletic jerseys, Kemp’s jersey was the 11th-most popular during the second half of the season. The top 20, as announced Monday by MLB:
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