Dodgers Matt Kemp not sure he will be ready for opening day
The Los Angeles Dodgers have spend the past two years spending and dealing freely and stocking up on veteran talent. After reaching the NLCS in 2013 largely without their Superstar CF (and 2011 MVP runner-up) Matt Kemp, reports are that they might have to be a little more patient before he can contribute on a full-time basis. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times spoke to the two-time All-Star on Saturday and Kemp isn’t so sure he’ll be ready to go when the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia on March 22-23:
“If I’m ready to play, I’ll play. If not, I’m not going to play. I don’t want to come back at 80% and get hurt again. I want to be 100% the whole year and give everybody what I can give them with a full year of me being healthy.”
Kemp is recovering from both ankle and shoulder surgeries, the ankle seems to be the more limiting factor, having suffered the injury during the 2013 regular season’s final weekend. Either way, it’s limited his offseason regimen and at least has set him back on conditioning. Plus Kemp would probably like as many hacks in Spring Training as possible to get his timing and rhythm back. But, as he said, health is the main thing. The Dodgers are wise to bring him back slowly and make sure he’s recovered, rather than rush him back and have another setback. Not to mention their $128M salary investment over the next six years.
– David Whitlock