Matt Kemp: “It turned out to be really, really good”

He said he definitely won’t start his rehab tomorrow and that when he does, it likely will be at Rancho. But he’s getting closer, and so I’m deducing from what he did say that he might start his rehab on Thursday. Matt said he didn’t know what the schedule was beyond today, but Don Mattingly just told the media that Kemp will run bases again tomorrow. He wouldn’t commit to Thursday as a start date for Kemp’s rehab because, again, team officials are steadfast about taking this a day at a time, but he did acknowledge that it could happen.

Kemp is definitely in a great mood. A few minutes ago, he was in the dugout chatting up Nash Punto, Nick Punto’s young son, who has kind of become the star of the clubhouse this year because he’s always around in his Dodgers jersey and his trademark blonde hair, his bright-blue eyeglasses and his gregarious personality.

Kemp was playful even when approached by a pack of reporters at his locker a few minutes ago. He pointed at Juan Uribe, who has the adjacent locker, and said, “Y’all gotta be quick today because my brother here doesn’t like a bunch of reporters around his locker.” To which Uribe responded by smiling and saying, “No, it’s OK, I don’t mind.”

To the important stuff. This is what Kemp said:

“I thought it went good today. It was the first day I ran the bases, and I was a little skeptical, but it turned out to be really, really good. It was pretty fun to be out there running bases. It had been a while.”

Kemp said he’ll know when he’s had enough rehab to be ready, but I get the sense the medical staff is going to be extremely cautious and conservative, especially with the team playing well.

When he does come back, playing time might be a thorny issue with four everyday-caliber OFs.

Kemp said this: “I’m a center fielder. That’s my role, to play center field every day. I don’t like to sit out games. I like to play and give my team a chance to win. I feel like I can do that. … If I feel good, I’m going to play.”

Mattingly acknowledged one part of that statement: when Kemp plays, he will play CF. As for the rest of it, well …

“I’m not going to start making out my lineup now,” Mattingly said. “The important thing at this point in the season is us winning. Somebody’s going to be mad. I understand that. I don’t mind them being mad. That means they want to play.”

4 comments

  1. Regarding the ability to rest one of our four outfielders when Kemp is back… So far this year Schumaker has played over 320 innings in the outfield, and Van Slyke has played over 220 innings. So together that’s about 60 full games worth of one of our starting outfielders that got rested, in the first 130 games of the season. Should be plenty of opportunity for resting one of those four without anyone getting upset, except maybe Schumaker and Van Slyke.

    • What I meant is, about 60 full games worth of one of our three starting outfielders that got rested, while Kemp was injured. When he comes back, all four will get plenty of playing time with occasional rest. What it really means is that they will be taking away playing time from Schu and SVS.

      • East Coast Blues

        I got it the first time. I see Ethier and Crawford losing playing time if Kemp is 100% but I doubt Kemp will be 100%. I’m sure it won’t work like I think it will but it should work out. Either way it’s a great problem to have.

      • East Coast Blues

        ^^Yogi Berra couldn’t have said it better.