Saturday, May 31, 2014

The early results for Kemp in left? Uh, not good


If you're wondering what that means, it's Matt Kemp's numbers since taking over the starting role in left field three games ago.  Three games, no hits, four strikeouts.  Three straight loses by the Dodgers.

No, it's not all of Kemp's fault, but he certainly isn't doing anything to prove that he should be starting everyday.  It's been more of the same from him - a lot of swings, a lot of misses, and a lot of frustration.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports wrote a great article about the need for Kemp to earn his spot again.  The message is simple - stop pouting, go out there, earn your spot, and show your five-tool skills.

And if you're hurt, then say so.  But if not, then it's time to turn it on.

The numbers for him this season are ugly, to say the least.  He's played in 46 games, gathering 161 at-bats.  He's hitting .242 with a .303 OBP.  He has 13 doubles, no triples, 5 homers, and 13 RBIs.  Finally, he's walked 14 times and struck out 48 times.

There's no way of sugarcoating those numbers: they stink.  There's no power, there's a lot of K's, and there's no ability to find a way on base anyway.  Remember when he stole 40 bases in 2010?  In the three years since then, he's stolen 23.  Whoa.

Who knows, maybe Kemp is just getting comfortable on the field again and is about to turn back the clock.  Remember that Sunday night game on April 6 when he hit two home runs against the Giants?  It certainly looked like he was getting locked in then, but he followed that up with three straight hitless games.  So, it was back to square one all over again.

The Dodgers certainly have issues other than Kemp.  Their bullpen can't come through, the offense can't either in scoring position, and they find creative ways to lose in extra innings.  A productive Kemp can do a whole lot to turn some of this stuff around.

Because if he can't, it will continue to be millions and millions of dollars going to waste.

So, Matt, what's it going to be?

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