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Dodgers' Matt Kemp to return July 13

The outfielder, who has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring, plans to be back in the lineup against the San Diego Padres in the first game after the All-Star break.

June 30, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

Matt Kemp said Saturday that he intends to return to the Dodgers lineup July 13 against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, the first game after the All-Star break.

"I'll be ready," Kemp said.

Kemp has played in only two of the Dodgers' last 45 games because of a strained left hamstring.

He is planning to go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment in the coming week. The assignment could start as early as Tuesday with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He is expecting to miss the All-Star gamebut will take part in the Home Run Derby on July 9.

"I'm doing it," Kemp said of the derby.

Bullpen catcher Rob Flippo will pitch to Kemp in the home run-hitting exhibition, in which Kemp will captain the National League team.

Kemp is expected to take part in a team workout at Dodger Stadium on July 12, the final day of the All-Star break.

Watching the Dodgers' recent tailspin from the bench has been difficult. But Kemp is trying to view his injury in a positive light.

"I wish I could be out there helping out, but it is what it is," Kemp said. "It could be worse than what it is right now."

Kemp has been running bases at full speed in recent workouts, but said, "The real test is playing in games."

Seager visits stadium

First-round pick Corey Seager, who was signed to a $2.35-million bonus, will start his professional career with the advanced rookie league team in Ogden, Utah.

The 18-year-old shortstop visited Dodger Stadium, accompanied by his parents and his agent, Scott Boras. He met Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, as well as some players, including Kemp.

"I'm on top of the world," Seager said. "I don't know how to explain it."

Seager's older brother, Kyle, is a third baseman for the Seattle Mariners.

"He didn't tell me it was going to be easy," said Seager, who passed on a scholarship to the University of South Carolina in order to turn professional.

Of the decision to start Seager at Ogden instead of lower level Arizona, scouting director Logan White said, "I think he can handle Ogden."

Boras compared Seager's bat to Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's.

Seager came to Los Angeles on Thursday to undergo a physical examination that finalized his agreement with the Dodgers. When Seager mentioned that he visited Boras' office in Newport Beach, White mentioned that he had never been invited there.

"With the new ownership group, you could get the cab fare now," Boras said.

"No comment," White said.

Short hops

As a team captain for the Home Run Derby, Kemp will announce the NL team on ESPN at about 4:30 p.m. PDT.

The first 50,000 fans at Dodger Stadium on Sunday will receive miniature Hello Kitty bobblehead dolls.

Former 140-pound boxing champion Amir Khan will sign autographs starting at the Viva Los Dodgers event Sunday, which will start at 3 p.m. in Parking Lot 6.

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