Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said there is a “small market” for trades to be made in the coming days. (Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO >> Despite rumors swirling around outfielder Matt Kemp, and the recent struggles of several veteran pitchers, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that “we may not do anything” between now and the non-waiver trade deadline of 1 p.m. Thursday.
“We have a club that’s solid, still has a lot of upside. Have we won four games in a row yet?”
Yasiel Puig has played 10 games in center field, all last season. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
PITTSBURGH >> It was just a thought in the middle of a July game, but it’s one that could have lasting consequences for the Dodgers.
Manager Don Mattingly said that Matt Kemp looked so comfortable playing right field Monday that he entertained the thought of keeping Kemp there and moving Puig to center field.
“It made me think about it,” Mattingly said. “Just how comfortable Matt looked, it changes the combination of guys. So again, you’re always trying to put the best club out there, give yourself the best chance to win. It just popped into my head during the game last night.”
Hanley Ramirez did not taking batting practice Monday, one day after he was hit in the left hand and left shoulder by pitches in St. Louis. (Associated Press photo)
PITTSBURGH >> Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez are not in the Dodgers’ lineup for the second consecutive day.
The Dodgers will use the same lineup against Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Vance Worley that led to a 5-2 win Monday, with Matt Kemp starting in right field, Andre Ethier in center field and Carl Crawford in left. Before Monday, Kemp hadn’t started a game in right field since October 2009.
Puig was hit in the left hand by a Joe Kelly pitch on Saturday in St. Louis. Ramirez was hit in the left hand by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch Sunday. X-rays on both players revealed no broken bones, but they were still too hurt to take batting practice Monday. Puig was said to be closer to returning than Ramirez.
Josh Beckett was activated from the 15-day disabled list and will start the game for the Dodgers. Left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Matt Kemp will make his first start in right field today since October 2009. (Associated Press photo)
PITTSBURGH >> Matt Kemp will make his 132nd career start in right field today. That’s quite a few starts, longer than many careers. By some advanced measures (namely, BIS Defensive Runs Saved Above Average), right field is Kemp’s best defensive position.
But his last start there was October 3, 2009. Kemp’s preparation for his latest position shift consists of shagging fly balls prior to today’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Without explicitly saying he had lowered expectations for Kemp in the field, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly lowered the expectations for Kemp in the field Monday.
“We really do make a big deal out of this and you know what? We don’t ask him to be perfect. We ask him to do his best,” Mattingly said. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not necessarily his fault.”
Matt Kemp has played three innings in center field since May 22. (Associated Press photo)
ST. LOUIS>>Matt Kemp insists he’s a center fielder. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has used Kemp in left field, not center, for all but three innings since May 22.
Kemp insists he’s an everyday player. With the Dodgers, he’s part of a five-man outfield rotation.
This apparent conflict of opinions hasn’t prompted Kemp to ask the Dodgers for a trade — a popular opinion with the trade deadline approaching and a headline like this one appearing on FoxSports.com.
But Kemp was happy to clarify the comments made by his agent, Dave Stewart, that Kemp would prefer to be playing center field rather than receiving inconsistent playing time in left or right.
“I want to be in a situation where I play every day,” he said Friday. “If it’s with the Dodgers, if it’s with someone else, that’s not my decision.
“I don’t have a no-trade clause. I don’t have any of that. I’m a Dodger. I’m going to play and help them any way I can. I’m blessed that I can wear a jersey and play the game I love to play.”
When Carl Crawford sprained his ankle May 27, the initial estimate was that he would be back in the Dodgers’ lineup by now.
Instead, he’s still rehabbing in Arizona.
“It seems like Carl’s kind of hit that plateau where he’s kind of gotten stuck,” manager Don Mattingly said Sunday. “He didn’t play yesterday. We’re not progressing. Right now, we have no plans for him playing rehab games or anything else.”
Matt Kemp has started the Dodgers’ last eight games in left field. (Associated Press)
took a few steps closer to rejoining the Dodgers. They were quick steps, too, which is encouraging.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Crawford is about 80-85 percent healthy in his recovery from a sprained left ankle that landed him on the disabled list May 28. Mattingly couldn’t say for certain, but “we’re hoping he’ll be ready when he’s due to come off. I think it’s the last game of the Cincinnati series (June 12).”
Once that happens, what will happen to Matt Kemp?
Kemp, who is struggling with a career-low .243 batting average and has just four hits in his past 34 at-bats, has been spelling Crawford in left. It figures once Crawford is ready to play, Kemp will be the odd man out.
Mattingly wouldn’t go there. Actually, he wouldn’t go anywhere with it.
“We don’t have to talk about that now,” he said. “I don’t want to right now.”
What about a platoon situation with Crawford and Kemp?
“I’m not thinking about any of that right now,” said Mattingly, who said his current thinking was centered more on how his team can put together some victories.
“I’m clearly focused on that,” he said.
Matt Kemp is starting in left field against the Cincinnati Reds, ending his 5-day hiatus from the starting lineup. It’s his first start in left field since June 21, 2006 — the 21st game of Kemp’s career. Today’s game will be his 1,010th.
Kemp bats sixth, with Andre Ethier batting second and the usual heart of the order intact against Reds right-hander Homer Bailey.
The full lineups for both teams:
Dee Gordon 2B
Andre Ethier CF
Yasiel Puig RF
Hanley Ramirez SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Matt Kemp LF
Justin Turner 3B
Drew Butera C
Clayton Kershaw P
Billy Hamilton CF
Todd Frazier 3B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Devin Mesoraco C
Jay Bruce RF
Ryan Ludwick LF
Brayan Pena 1B
Zack Cozart SS
Homer Bailey RHP
Carl Crawford limps off the field after suffering a sprained left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. (Getty Images)
Carl Crawford sprained his left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. The 32-year-old rolled the ankle on the turf while fielding Chris Heisey‘s double into the left-field corner. He had to be helped off the field by head athletic trainer Stan Conte and was replaced by Scott Van Slyke.
A picture of Crawford’s ankle as the injury occurred can be found here.
Update (11:15 p.m.): Crawford said he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
“I think it’s going to take a while,” he said.
The injury is severe enough that Crawford entered the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game in a wheelchair. He then limped into the showers and came back to his locker wearing a protective boot.
Matt Kemp wasn’t in the Dodgers’nstarting lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)
Don Mattingly and Matt Kemp had diverging opinions Monday about Kemp’s health, and that storyline isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
However, the gap between the two might be eased if Kemp gets penciled in to the starting lineup. For the fifth straight day, that didn’t happen. Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig are manning the three outfield positions against the Cincinnati Reds.
Kemp said he took fly balls in left field Tuesday afternoon. When asked how long, he replied “doesn’t matter.” He wasn’t smiling.
Even the usually affable Mattingly got a bit testy when pressed about Kemp’s situation.