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Reason called as Dodgers finally put Matt Kemp on disabled list

May 14, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck

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No more rolling the dice, no more taking one serious gamble with their best player, no more setting themselves up for a world of potential second-guessing.

Finally, reason prevailed and Matt Kemp and his strained hamstring were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Dodgers finally made the announcement Monday after their 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks that Kemp was going on the DL and they were calling up Jerry Sands from triple-A Albuquerque.

“I’m very disappointed,” Kemp said. “I want to be with my team playing, but I have to get my leg [well].

“They had to talk me into it a little bit. I was going crazy [Monday] in the dugout. I don’t like sitting. But we have a lot of good guys on this team … hopefully when I get back we’ll have a 10-game lead and go from there.”

Kemp watched Monday’s game from the dugout as his major league-high streak of 399 consecutive games played came to an end. The last time he missed a game was Aug. 18, 2009.

Kemp was the best player in the National League before injuring his hamstring May 5 while running out a grounder in Chicago. He had not been the same player since (.174), robbed of his normal speed and explosiveness.

“We have to make sure this doesn’t turn into a long-term thing,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “We don’t want it to go from a Grade 1 to a Grade 2 and he’s out for four weeks. This way he has a chance to get healthy.”

Mattingly said they expected Kemp to be fully recovered by the time he comes off the disabled list. Tony Gwynn Jr. will be the primary center fielder while Kemp is out, but Mattingly said Elian Herrera, called up Monday when Juan Uribe (wrist) also went on the DL, and Andre Ethier would probably see some time in center.

Ethier said he hasn’t played center since the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim.

“I can do it,” Ethier said. “The ball goes up the same way it does in right.”

It would have made more sense to make the DL move back on May 5, but better now than not at all. Kemp wanted to play and thought the hamstring was improving, but every time he pushed it hard it called out to him. Now it gets to really heal.

“The doc said in seven to 10 days; we’ll probably have to be holding him back,” Mattingly said.

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