Matt Kemp will join Dodgers on Monday, could be activated off DL

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

For the third time this year, Matt Kemp may be ready to come off the DL.
For the third time this year, Matt Kemp may be ready to come off the DL. (USATSI)

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Matt Kemp will meet the Dodgers at Chase Field in Arizona on Monday prior to their four-game series with the Diamondbacks, manager Don Mattingly announced. He will take part in early workouts, and if all goes well, he'll be activated off the DL.

"We'll see him tomorrow. He'll be at the ballpark tomorrow working out early with us, running, doing the bases and doing all that," said Mattingly to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA. "I've been told that depending on where he's at, it could be tomorrow. I don't know. Obviously we want him to be healthy."

Kemp, 28, has been on the DL with an ankle sprain since late July. He was shut down "indefinitely" with hamstring tightness last week but has since started running and hitting in simulated games at the team's spring training complex in Arizona. Mattingly made it clear that even if Kemp is activated on Monday, they won't necessarily throw him into the fire and play him everyday right out of the chute.

This has been a disaster year for Kemp, who has been on the DL with shoulder and hamstring problems in addition to the ankle injury. He had surgery on the shoulder last offseason. Kemp has hit just .263/.319/.382 (97 OPS+) with five home runs and nine stolen bases in 62 games around all the injuries this summer.

The Dodgers could use Kemp because the rest of their starting outfield is banged up as well. Carl Crawford (back), Andre Ethier (ankle) and Yasiel Puig (hip) are all day-to-day with nagging injuries. Hanley Ramirez (back) is also day-to-day. Mattingly doesn't consider any of the four injuries to be serious, however.

Los Angeles came into Sunday with comfortable 11.5-game lead in the NL West. Their magic number to clinch the divison is down to four. With a big lead like that, they can afford to ease Kemp back into things and give their other players time to rest before the postseason.

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