Author Mark Simon highlights several things that have ailed Kemp this season; here’s one more: Kemp is getting behind in the count a lot and not making pitchers pay when he gets ahead. According to ESPN’s chart, Kemp is 10 for 37 (.270) when he’s behind in the count and 4 for 17 (.235) when he’s ahead.
Here is ESPN’s “heat map” for balls in play/strikeouts when Kemp was ahead in the count last season:
That’s how you make a pitcher pay.
Onto some bullet points:
• The Dodgers announced three international signings Sunday, all from the Dominican Republic: RHP Osiris Ramirez from Puerto Plata; RHP Angel German from Bani; and third baseman Jimy Perez, also from Bani.
• Fernando Nieve, who made 24 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque last year, is back on the market after being designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians.
• Happy 25th birthday, Dee Gordon.
• Not a baseball story, but if you’ve ever wanted to strangle a broadcaster for being a homer, you will appreciate this: An NHL general manager got the broadcaster of an opposing team to apologize for comparing one of his players to Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert Kennedy in 1968.
• Ghostly International is one of my favorite Indie record labels. It’s not for everyone, but if you dig instrumental hip hop, here’s a representative sample of their work, Pistol Whip by Lord Raja: