The Matt Kemp watch was stepped up over the weekend when the outfielder began a rehab assignment at triple-A Albuquerque.
Kemp is scheduled to return to the Dodgers Tuesday, though that doesn’t mean he will be ready to come off the disabled list and join the team. Kemp has been out since May 29 with a strained right hamstring.
“We don’t want him to come back until he’s ready,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “It’s been a month. It’s hard to say you’re ready to go in seven, eight at-bats.”
In Kemp’s first two games at Albuquerque, he has gone a combined 1 for 8 with five strikeouts and a double.
“I’m not worried about what he does in the minors,” Mattingly said. “I’m worried about the majors.”
Kemp, coming off major off-season shoulder surgery, is hitting .251 with the Dodgers and has struggled to find his power game (.335 slugging percentage).
The Isotopes play a day game Tuesday, and after an off day Wednesday, travel to Memphis to begin a four-game series.
The Dodgers don’t appear to be leaning toward activating Kemp after he re-joins the team Tuesday.
“We really haven’t talked about that,” Mattingly said. “At this point we still feel like he needs at-bats. I’m not sure where he’s at with that. We’ll get a chance to talk [Tuesday] and see how he feels.”
When Kemp does return, Andre Ethier will go back to right and rookie Yasiel Puig will move to left.
Normal left fielder Carl Crawford is also on the DL with a strained groin, but his return remains unspecified. Crawford is currently at the Dodgers’ training facility in Phoenix.
“We always felt he was a couple of weeks behind Matt,” Mattingly said.
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