Monday, September 16, 2013

Kemp activated, and could be the ultimate wild card

Here's a bit of news we're used to hearing: Matt Kemp has been activated from the 15-day DL.  This time it was from an ankle injury he suffered while taking an awkward slide into home plate in Washington on July 21.  Then came his strained hamstring while rehabbing it, which kept him out even longer.

And let's not forget his offseason shoulder surgery, which flared up on him during the season and caused him to miss even more time.

And let's also not forget the hamstring injury from late-May, which caused him to miss even more time.

All in all, you get the point that Kemp is somewhat injury prone.  And that's putting it nicely.  After inking an eight-year, $160 contract following his awesome 2011 season in which he was robbed of the MVP award by Ryan Fraud... I mean Braun, it's mostly been downhill since.

But maybe that's all in the past, as Kemp is now back with the big club.  While he's not in the starting lineup on Monday, at least he's there and possibly looking to pinch-hit.

It was around the beginning of September that I wrote about the chance Kemp had in giving the Dodgers the ultimate lift in October.  Then Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford all got banged up, and the offense started to sputter.  Now I believe in my original statement even more.

Look, I think it would be foolish of anyone to expect Kemp to play at an MVP-like level the rest of the season.  It's just not fair to him, either.  But, I do believe he can still be a guy who steps up and hits a big home run when his team needs it.  That's why I think he can be such a huge lift to this team in the playoffs, even at well less than 100%.  He still puts some level of fear in opposing pitchers.

Let's see if Kemp is even able run around in the outfield and go first to third on a single.  If he can, then the Dodgers have to be thrilled.  If not, then maybe he's a big threat off the bench.  Or, maybe it's just not going to happen this year.

I sure hope it does, though, as Kemp in a Dodgers' uniform this postseason can only be considered a good thing.  But please, just stay healthy!

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