Matt Kemp may not be running yet, but he’s certainly hitting. That has the Dodgers thinking he will be back before the regular season ends Sept. 29.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kemp, who had a setback last Thursday when he felt tightness in his right hamstring rehabilitating in Glendale, Ariz., hit well in a simulated game on Tuesday.
“I think everyone is pretty positive that he’s on a pretty good track as far as what he’s been able to do,” Mattingly said. “And the little testing they do with him without him actually trying to run, has been pretty positive.”
Does Mattingly really believe that Kemp, who has been out since July 21 with a sprained left ankle, will be back before the regular season ends?
“Yeah, I do, I’m starting to feel that way,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly said Kemp’s running has been slowed with the latest setback, but his hitting is a positive.
“In 10 at-bats today, he was 6 for 10 with four home runs, something like that, something crazy,” Mattingly said. “Obviously he’s feeling better.”
Kemp sat out 24 games earlier this season because of an injury to the same hamstring. Mattingly said he’d like to see Kemp play several games with the Dodgers before the postseason, which starts Oct. 1.
The Dodgers have 18 regular-season games left.
“It’d be hard to judge if it was like two games or something,” Mattingly said. “ It’d be nice to be able to see him in 10 to 12 games.”