While this large contingent of Korean reporters was excitedly snapping off as many photos as they could get of Hyun-Jin Ryu having a conversation with Yasiel Puig near the batting cage as the Dodgers were stretching before batting practice, the rest of us were a few feet away in the dugout listening to Don Mattingly lay out the details of Matt Kemp’s latest setback.
This time, it’s his hamstring, not his ankle.
On the second day after moving his rehab for his sprained left ankle to Camelback Ranch in Arizona — that would be yesterday — Kemp experienced discomfort in his right hamstring, where a mild strain landed him on the disabled list from May 30-June 25. It would seem to be yet another sign that 2013 simply isn’t Matty’s year.
Still, Mattingly says team officials aren’t ready to officially write Kemp off for the season — even as he acknowledged it is becoming increasingly possible that will happen.
“Yeah, maybe,” Mattingly said. “I don’t like to concede anything, really, but his hamstring has kind of jumped back in there and become involved again.”
Even as Mattingly took great pains to avoid saying Kemp is out of the picture for the rest of the year, it is becoming somewhat apparent that he is. Since first injuring the hamstring on May 29, Kemp has spent a total of 76 games (and counting) on the DL with three different injuries while going to the plate in major league games a total of 41 times. The results of his plate appearances on this particular rehab assignment, all of which took place at advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, didn’t exactly suggest he was on the brink of being activated.
And that was before he reinjured the hammy.
“I haven’t talked to him directly,” Mattingly said, “but the trainers say he is frustrated.”
Mattingly said there are no plans that he is aware of at this point for Kemp to undergo an MRI. He also said the hamstring issue came up while Kemp was running the bases at CBR, not while he was hitting or playing outfield.
Ryu, by the way, who earlier this week was scratched from his scheduled start tonight due to mid-back stiffness, is set for a rare bullpen session — he usually doesn’t do them between starts — on Sunday “so we can solidify where we go next,” Mattingly said. If that goes well, Ryu is loosely targeted to pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday against Arizona, and if it’s Wednesday, that means either Edinson Volquez or Stephen Fife will pitch on Tuesday.