As the Los Angeles Dodgers coast to their first National League West title since 2009, they may be getting a key weapon back just in time for the playoffs. According to Los Angeles beat writers Dylan Hernandez (Los Angeles Times) and Bill Plunkett (Orange County Register), the Dodgers have activated two-time All-Star Matt Kemp from the Disabled List.
Matt Kemp has been activated.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) September 17, 2013
#Dodgers make the move. Activate Matt Kemp from DL
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 17, 2013
Conflicting reports had been coming out of the Dodgers clubhouse, with manager Don Mattingly shooing away the media by saying Kemp’s presence in the clubhouse did not mean he had been activated. Au Contrare, just a red herring, as their 28-year-old slugger was indeed activated before Monday Night’s Game.
Kemp has only played in one game since July 5, and didn’t hit for much power when healthy, with only 5 HR in 200+ AB. All of that is water under the bridge if he can regain any sort of form for the postseason (Dodgers hold a 10.5 game lead and a magic number that should evaporate by Thursday). The (good) issue to have is that they already have two All-Star caliber outfielders in Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford, with Andre Ethier, a clubhouse leader, second on the team in at bats. Puig has also been slowed by injuries, so a rotation might be in order, or else, Ethier will probably be the odd man out.
For the short term, Kemp is likely to pinch hit and not run the bases, but these at bats down the stretch may be critical for him to regain some timing and be a key player in October.