An offseason ago, it was proposed that the Yankees trade Robinson Cano for Matt Kemp. It made sense for the Yankees: Cano was under-performing and they needed a CF. To me, it made no sense for the Dodgers – after all Matt was a “budding superstar” and was growing into a Gold Glove center fielder, a feared base-stealer and a difference maker. Through the first month of the season, Matt Kemp was taking the next step (at least offensively) to becoming an Elite Player.
Now, it’s nearly July and Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp both have three letters by their names: Cano is MVP and Kemp is DFA!
Matt Kemp has went from one of the best center-fielders in baseball to one of the worst, and has went from a feared base-stealer to a sure out! Add in the fact that he has hit .191 in June and you can see that Matt kemp has went from being anchor on the Dodgers team, to a boat anchor who is bringing the team down. What is happening to Matt Kemp? This we know: He has incredible talent, talent to be a Superstar. Most Fantasy Baseball guides had him in the Top 3 Outfielders. So, if he’s not and yet shown on the major league level that he can excel (and he has), then the problem is in his head (unless he has lost his ability to see). Head problems are hard to fix. I don’t know Matt well and while I don’t know his parents well either, I can see that he was raised to be respectful, responsible and hard-working. Matt was not raised to be a prima donna, and I am not saying he is, but I can only go by what I see, and what I see looks awful! At times (like last night) he flashes leather in CF, but that’s not the usual.
Matt Kemp looks to me like a guy who just got a multi-million dollar contract and is living on his past press clippings. It’s not to last to do a 180 and get back on track, but Matt is going to have to re-dedicate himself to the game of baseball. Something is missing – maybe he knows. He best identify it before he becomes Raul Mondesi!
The same applies to one Russell Martin. While he is throwing out baserunners at a 34% clip (his high), his defense has regressed and his hitting is putrid. His OB% is decent at .351, but his bat is no longer feared. Russell Martin is becoming a non-factor. Look at the team woes right now and it’s easy to see that Martin and Kemp are almost single-handedly responsible for the lack of offense. Sure, Andre Ethier has been declining, but he has a reason – he needs to nurse his pinkie back to health. Kemp and Ethier combined for 6 K’s last night!
The Dodgers have a nice 2B combination with DeWitt and Carroll and Casey Blake is Casey Blake at 3B. Raffy looks primed to have a good year, Manny is picking it up at bat, and the Dodger subs are doing their jobs. Even Garrett Anderson has a pulse. James Loney is the teams’ RBI Leader and is becoming more of a vocal leader by showing some fire with the umpires. Atta Boy, James! The fact is that the Dodgers cannot win unless Matt Kemp and Russ Martin play up to their talent level. Dodger fans are calling you out! Are you Dudes or Duds?
- Charlie Haeger was DFA’ed – someone will probably give him a chance. I’d be surprised if he goes back to the minors as a Dodger, but you never know. He sure tanked… with a quickness! Jon Link will probably get the call until C-Bill comes of the DL next week.
- I have not been impressed with Jerry Sands because of his lack of athleticism, but it’s starting to look like he could be a stone-cold hitter. I would love to eat my words.
- Kyle Russell – AA Stats: 60 AB/26 K/5 BB – Can you say OVERMATCHED?
- Vicente Padilla was nearly as good as CC last night. If Padilla and Ely can both pitch like they have the last two games, the back of the rotation will be solid, but I still want Lee or Oswalt!
- Josh Lindblom is excelling out of the pen for Albuquerque Isotopes – he has not allowed a run in his last 5 innings.