Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kemp on pace to return in a week

For a team still struggling mightily to score runs, the return of Matt Kemp can't come soon enough.

That return looks like a reality as Kemp will play three games with Triple-A Albuquerque with an eye on returning against either the Giants or Phillies at the end of next week.  His biggest hurdle was running the bases, which he did without incident before Friday night's game in San Diego.

Unfortunately with Kemp, he's been so banged up the last couple of years, we have to temper our expectations when he does return.  It's easy to expect the MVP-like numbers he had in 2011, but this is not the same player because of injuries.  He COULD be the same player, no doubt, but it's not going to happen overnight.  Give it time.

Unfortunately (again), time is not something on the Dodgers' side these days.  They're sitting in last place of the NL West with an embarrassing 30-42 record, 9 1/2 games in back of the Diamondbacks.  That same record would put them even further back in every other division, so they can consider themselves lucky at the same time.

Assuming Kemp returns when it's speculated, that'll give him about 15 games before the All-Star break, minus some time off here and there.  Those games should get him back into the rhythm of baseball again.  His goal should be to be at full strength after the break, where he will hopefully put the bad start to the season behind him and be ready to roll.

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