Ouch... in more ways than one.
My how things can quickly turn around for the injury plagued Matt Kemp. One day after being a late scratch from Saturday night's lineup, the Dodgers have announced the Kemp will not return at all this season. He was on crutches during the team's postseason rally after Sunday afternoon's game, which he'll remain on for three weeks, and will also have minor shoulder surgery.
The news is hardly surprising, but nonetheless, still very disappointing. The Dodgers were hoping that they'd have Kemp back in the lineup for that extra punch with Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez. Now they'll have to face the distinct possibility of opening up the Division Series in Atlanta on Thursday with Skip Schumaker in center.
I'm sure the Braves are shaking in their cleats.
If you're wondering why not Andre Ethier in center, that's because he's looking doubtful with a sore ankle as well. He hasn't played since September 13, and can barely run the bases. I'm guessing a guy with a bad ankle who can't run the bases probably can't run around center field as well.
At least Puig and Carl Crawford are playing, and while they're not exactly 100% either, they'll be relied on a whole lot more with Kemp definitely not coming back.
All the Dodgers can hope for is Kemp to get his surgery, get healed properly, and be ready to go for 2014. It's pretty harsh to say, but after signing an eight-year, $160 million extension two years ago, they've pretty much gotten nothing out of him. It's been one injury and letdown after another. This is just the latest blow.
The Dodgers are certainly used to playing without him, however, so that will just have continue into the NLDS.