The Los Angeles Dodgers have all but ruled out injured slugger Matt Kemp for next month’s All-Star game in Kansas City.
“It’s a long shot at that point because he is not healthy,” General Manager Ned Colletti said Monday before the opener of a 3-game series at San Francisco. Basketball lines
The slugging center fielder is still recovering from a strained left hamstring that landed him on the DL for a 2nd time this season May 31. The 2011 National League MVP runner-up 1st missed time from May 14-29.
Manager Don Mattingly is supportive if Kemp wants to take part in the Home Run Derby, as L.A. Dodgers’ medical staff has given him the go-ahead to do that.
Matt Kemp claimed last week in Oakland he had debated the Midsummer Classic with Mattingly and wants to make certain he’s fully healthy for the 2nd half with National League West-leading L.A.
“You wouldn’t anticipate anything more out of anybody else,” Colletti expounded of Kemp’s team-1st focus. “We’re talking about All-Star games and things like that; it’s tough for us to take a look at the future when we don’t even have a rehabilitation game scheduled.”
Mattingly hopes Matt Kemp might begin a rehabilitation assignment before the break, but the thinking is the Dodgers will want Kemp to return playing big league games before clearing him to play in the All-Star game — and there isn’t much time left for him to do both.
“I think he feels the same way,” Mattingly said. “He’s not ready to play yet.”
Ideally, Matt Kemp would play in 5 or 6 small time games first. He leads the National League in votes, with his total at 3,322,009 in baseball’s latest count. New NL numbers will be released.
“As an organization we are kind of the bad guy in this,” Mattingly announced. “That’s the way in which it has to be.”
Matt Kemp, who predicted in spring training he would just become the 1st player to ever hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases, is batting .355 with 12 homers and 28 RBIs in 36 games and has 2 stolen bases.
Mattingly left open the slim possibility of Kemp appearing in the All-Star game July 10 at Kauffman Stadium if he has already returned to the LA Dodgers’ lineup 1st.
“We talked about him playing for us before we get there, so if he’s been able to do all that and play for us before the All-Star game … We’re talking about all this making a guess when he’s going to be ready,” Mattingly related. “It appears silly to me, honestly. He is not prepared to play yet; he’s still going thru the process of running bases and running curves. We’re talking about an All-Star game, we’re talking about training.”
Second baseman Mark Ellis, recovering from left leg surgery, also is close to going on a rehab assignment and is considered to be barely ahead of Kemp, schedule-wise. He also is anticipated back in the lineup after the All-Star break.