So we learned today that Matt Kemp is going to have surgery on his left ankle, which means that the prognosis for him being fully recovered from this injury has moved from the start of spring training to “he is expected to be competitive in time for the regular season,” as it was worded in the email the Dodgers sent out to media. That may not sound like a significant setback, but it’s a difference of a few weeks. I’m told all it really means is that he may be on some form of restrictive activity during the early stages of spring training, so it doesn’t sound like any kind of major setback. But in theory, it could affect what the Dodgers do over the winter. We all pretty much expected them to try to trade one of their four outfielders so as to, you know, relieve that alleged logjam that existed for all of TWO games this year. Now, the Dodgers might opt to hold onto all four because even if Kemp is expected to be “competitive” by opening day, there is no guarantee that he will be.
By the way, here is the video I posted shortly after the final game of the regular season, when Dr. Neal ElAttrache seemed to indicate it was unlikely Kemp would need surgery on the ankle. It also is worth mentioning that Kemp now has done five stints on the DL in the past two seasons with four different injuries, and that doesn’t even count this late-season setback with his ankle, when he was never officially placed on the DL.
On another note, remember two years ago, when the Dodgers made Sue Falsone the first female head trainer for a team in a major American professional sport? Well, I received confirmation she officially stepped down today, that the decision was completely hers and that it had nothing to do with the crazy number of injuries the Dodgers suffered this year. It also is confirmed that Stephen Downey, who was in his second season as strength and conditioning coach, won’t be retained as part of the major league staff. Downey could return somewhere within the organization. He spent five seasons as strength coach for Dodgers minor league affiliates, including at high Single-A in 2007-08 and at Triple-A Albuquerque from 2009-11.
One other thing, regarding the strange comments of Don Mattingly from earlier today: it seems the national media has a much different take on this from the Los Angeles media, which is mostly bewildered by the whole thing (your humble correspondent included). Nationally, Mattingly is being hailed for having the fortitude to stand up for himself. Here is a great column by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.