News and notes: Kemp returns, Sands optioned, Eovaldi called up
It’s a news and notes kinda Tuesday …
-- Jerry Sands was the one to go with Matt Kemp being activated. He was optioned back to triple-A Albuquerque.
Sands was the system’s minor league player of the year in 2010, but has struggled to take the next step. He went four for 20 during this call-up, with a pair of doubles.
The Dodgers kept Scott Van Slyke, the minor league player of the year in 2011, who was called up before Sands. Van Slyke had a memorable game-winning homer, but is hitting just .136 (three for 22).
-- Kemp was excited to return from the 15-day disabled list: “I woke up this morning and it felt like opening day.”
Kemp knows that now that his consecutive games-played streak is over (at 399), Manager Don Mattingly plans to give him an occasional day off.
“Since the streak is over, I guess he’s planning on giving me a couple days off here and there,” Kemp said. “But he’s going to have to fight me to get me out of the lineup. I definitely didn’t want to take those two weeks off. I had to take them off. It won’t hurt.”
-- Juan Uribe and his sore left wrist are reportedly showing improvement again.
Mattingly said Uribe had been hitting off a tee and is scheduled to take batting practice Wednesday.
-- With right-hander Nathan Eovaldi officially called up from double-A Chattanooga to start Tuesday, the Dodgers optioned Michael Antonini back to Albuquerque. For the second time this season, Antonini was called up without making his major league debut.
-- With Kemp back in center, Mattingly elected to still start Tony Gwynn Jr.and move him over to left. Gwynn continued to lead off, with Dee Gordon batting eighth.
-- Things went as expected for Juan Rivera (hanstring) during the two rehab games he played with Kemp in Albuquerque. Rivera did a normal workout Tuesday at Dodger Stadium and is scheduled to play a pair of games with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga before hopefully rejoining the Dodgers when they open a 10-game road trip Thursday in Colorado.
-- Kemp on Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, who beat him out for last season’s National League MVP and then beat a positive drug test: “His numbers are the same as they were last year. I don’t see a change. Whatever happened – if it did happen or didn’t happen – he’s still the same player that he was last year and he continues to have a great season.”
--Jerry Hairston Jr. turned 36 on Tuesday. Said Hairston: “Some days I feel 23, some days 52. When you’re 25, you just feel 25 every day.”
-- It only seems like Bobby Abreu is on base four times a night. His on-base percentage with the Dodgers is .451, which leaves him ahead of A.J. Ellis (.437) and Kemp (.446), but still trailing Hairston (.474).
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