TORONTO — With his left ankle still swollen Wednesday, Matt Kemp was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season.
“We were hoping that over 48 hours, it would get better,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “It hasn’t.”
The move is retroactive to Monday, meaning Kemp could be activated Aug. 6, when the Dodgers play the second game of a four-game series in St. Louis. But Mattingly acknowledged he didn’t know whether Kemp would be ready to play by then.
Kemp was replaced on the active roster by left-hander Ted Lilly, who returned from his third DL stint.
Kemp was hurt Sunday sliding into home plate. He blamed himself for the injury, noting he would have easily scored on the play had he broken for home when Carl Crawford hit the ball.
“I want to slap myself in the face every day I wake up limping,” Kemp said.
Kemp admitted he was disturbed by the growing perception that he is injury prone.
“You know what I get?” Kemp said. “A lot of people saying, ‘He’s made of glass now.’ I’m like, '...I played five years, six years straight.’ … I’m definitely not made of glass, man.”
Kemp once played in 399 consecutive games, which was the longest streak in baseball at the time.
“I can’t control what people say,” Kemp said. “That’s what they think. They don’t remember the Matt Kemp that played every single game. Now, they remember the Matt Kemp that’s, ‘Dang, he’s hurt again?’ You never want to get that label, man.... As a baseball player, you work hard in the off-season to stay healthy. And when you get hurt, it’s tough on you. You might see me smiling on the bench, having a good time, but inside, I miss playing with my team, not being out there every game. Nobody wants to play this game more than I do.”
Counting the last three games, Kemp has spent 38 games on the disabled list. He strained a hamstring in late May and irritated the AC joint in his surgically repaired left shoulder this month.
“Hopefully, by the end the year, I’m pouring champagne on my teammates,” Kemp said. “I’ll be hopping up, ankle being great, shoulder great, everything just unbelievable. That would be fun. That’s what I picture, what I dream about, those happy endings.”
New role for Lilly
Lilly will pitch out of the bullpen, something he last did 10 years ago.
But the difficulty the 37-year-old Lilly has faced recovering from starts prompted him to tell management he wanted to try pitching as a reliever.
Lilly figures to be used primary as a long reliever. He will be the team’s third left-hander.
The Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday is sold out. The first 50,000 fans will receive Vin Scully bobblehead dolls. Automobile and stadium gates will open early, at 5:10 p.m. … The Dodgers will host their annual bowling event Monday at Lucky Strikes Lanes in LA Live. The event will raise money for the team’s charitable foundation. Players scheduled to attend include Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Crawford and A.J. Ellis. For more information, go to dodgers.com/bowling.