Guess who’s back? Back again. Guess who’s back? Tell a friend. Guess who’s back? Guess who’s back, guess who’back? Every time I say that it makes me want to start singing…”two trailer park girls go round the outside, round the outside…..” Ok it’s not an Eminem song, but rather the story of Matt Kemp’s return to the lineup.
"I’m in the lineup tonight, and a I’m ready to play! ~ Matt Kemp"
The Dodgers have kept this hush hush, but tonight, Matt Kemp makes his return to the Dodger lineup. Kemp has been activated from the disabled list for tonight’s game. Kemp has been on the DL battling a strained hamstring, which he suffered running after a ball in Anaheim. Kemp has also been slowly recovering from his off-season shoulder surgery, which put him behind in schedule for the start of the season. Kemp was not allowed to swing a bat or lift weights, during the entire off-season, which has had a huge effect on his attack.
Matt Kemp mkakes his return to the lineup tonight-Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kemp wasn’t expected back until later in the week, but is back early. The team had originally gave a return date for Thursday, but Kemp had other ideas. Kemp was evaluated by the medical staff upon arriving at Dodger Stadium, and then cleared to play. Kemp was playing in a rehab assignment down in Albuquerque for the Isotopes. That included a golden sombrero during his first game. Kemp played in three games for the Isotopes, and was 3 for 11 (.182) with two doubles, and a stolen base. Kemp walked once and whiffed six times.
Kemp rejoins the team, taking back his regular center field position. That means, Puig is moved over to left, and Ethier pushed back to right. Kemp is in the lineup and batting fifth tonight, behind Adrian Gonzalez.
The Dodgers will of course have to make a roster move to clear room for Kemp. I would bet dollars to donuts that’s poor Elian Herrera, who is one of the few guys with options. With Kemp back, Herrera isn’t really needed. I would expect him to be the guy optioned back to Albuquerque.
Kemp is batting .251 (48 for 191) this season with two home runs and 17 RBIs. Kemp has 14 walks and 60 whiffs with nine stolen bases. Kemp’s OPS is .640, and his OBP is .305. I am sure Kemp will be looking to improve upon those numbers tonight. Welcome back Bison!