Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp could start a minor league rehabilitation… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Optimistic about how he felt running the bases Tuesday, Matt Kemp could start a minor league rehabilitation assignment as early as Thursday.
Kemp is scheduled to run the bases at Dodger Stadium again Wednesday. If his left ankle holds up, he could play for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga the next day.
“I thought it went good today,” Kemp said. “It was my first day running on the bases. I was a little skeptical, but it turned out to be really, really good. It felt good. It was pretty fun to get out there and run. It’s been a while.
“I was scared. I mean, not scared. Just a little hesitant, you know? Getting out there running for the first time, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what it’s going to feel like, certain cuts, how you’re going to respond. But it went better than I thought.”
Kemp didn’t know how many at-bats he would need before he would be ready to join the major league club. He has been on the disabled list since July 22 with a sprained ankle.
With Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford currently the everyday players in the Dodgers outfield, Kemp was asked what kind of role he expected to play in September.
“I’m a center fielder,” Kemp said. “That’s my role, to play center field every day. I don’t know why people keep asking me what role I’m going to play.”
Manager Don Mattingly said the four outfielders would probably share playing time.
Kemp didn’t like the idea of not playing every day.
“I want to play every day,” Kemp said. “I don’t like to sit out of games. I like to play. I like to give my team a chance to win and think I can do that.”
Would he accept not playing every day?
“I’m not worried about that,” Kemp said. “I’m just worried about getting out there and playing with my team.”
Mattingly thought Kemp would accept the situation.
“Matt’s had a rough year physically,” Mattingly said. “It’s not hard to see. I think Matt’s going to understand where we’re at. He sees what’s going on.”
That doesn’t mean Mattingly expects Kemp, or any of the other outfielders, to be content on the bench.
“Somebody’s going to be mad,” Mattingly said. “I don’t expect them not to be mad. If they weren’t mad, I’d probably be worried about them.”