Assuming Matt Kemp will come back by summer and be healthy, he is going to have to change his style of play.  No longer can he be the guy who runs into walls, steals bases and runs with reckless abandon.  If he wants to stay on the field, he is going to have to change his game.

His bat, not his legs, will have to be his best asset.  To further emphasize that, the Dodgers should move Matt Kemp to left field where he won’t have to cover so much ground and there is less chance of injury.  That sets the stage for a natural platoon with the equally brittle Carl Crawford.  Matt is going to need some rest, whether he comes back in April or June and this is the best way.

Matt Kemp was never a Gold Glove Centerfielder – he was in the lineup for his bat and that’s what he needs to focus on.  If I were Don Mattingly, I would announce that Matt is moving to LF for his good and the good of the team.  He won’t like it, but he will get used to it.  Give him plenty of time.

I would be fine with a Matt Kemp who had 450 AB’s and hit 30 HR with Zero stolen bases.

That leaves Centerfield to Andre Ethier or Yasiel Pig…  ‘er I mean Puig  (I was confused by his stature).  Of course, Joc Pederson could make the team with Kemp on the DL, but it’s not likely he will start.  The solution is to alternate Ethier and Puig in CF during the Spring.  Yes, I know Puig is raw and needs help with his communication and decision making, but speed covers a multitude of sins.

Let’s play ball!

Here’s today’s lineup:

  1. Chone Figgins  SS
  2. Carl Crawford LF
  3. Yasiel Pig  RF
  4. Care Bear Uribe  3B
  5. Joc Pederson  CF
  6. Andy Van Slyke’s Son  1B
  7. Tim Fed-Ex  C
  8. Alexander “Don’t call me Pedro” Guerrero – 2B
  9. Justin Turner  DH

Clayton will start and throw a couple and I’m sure we will see Dee Gordon at 2B too!


    • Bob says:

      Franklin is currently better than Figgins, Turner, and Gordon. He could serve as the full time 2B and the backup 2B/SS when Alex arrives. Rosin and Guerra are gone anyway, and with the pitching depth of 25 pitchers on the 40-man roster and almost no MLB ready infielders in the minor leagues Gordon could begin to fill that void by staying at AAA. Can’t have too many of Logan’s first round draft picks converted to relievers, right?

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, I do not know what the Dodger instructors think about Puig in center full time, but I am sure they have an opinion.

    If he COULD handle it out there — then put him out there in the spring and let him learn the breath of really playing centerfield — and make him one.

    He has the speed, the arm, and the balance. Kind of Mickey Mantle like possibilities.

    But plugging him in for a game or two, will not make him a center fielder.

    Or, get rid of one outfielder and go with Joc in center — full time.

  2. Badger says:

    Some of us have been calling for Kemp to be moved to RF for a long time. I’m fine with Ethier in center. He’s a heady player out there. I’m ok with Puig there too. If Pederson can hit, I’d be fine with him in center.

    Are we seeing an expensive DH unfolding in Matt Kemp? TBD

  3. Bobbie17 says:

    It will probably take 2 years for Kemp to feel like his old self, if he ever does. He will be primarily a hitter, hopefully with some power. Maybe in the 5-6 hole in the lineup. He can do a lot of damage there. I think Center is the province of Puig or Pedersen. I hope Joc is as good as everyone says. If so, he has the position and Puig stays in RF.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Watching the final innings of the first game on MLB.TV on my computer.

    Kershaw picked up where he left off against the Cardinals last fall. Hit hard.

    Puig had 2 hits.

    Stripling is pitching right now.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Jeremy Hazelbaker was acquired from the Red Sox in exchange for Alex Castellanos this past offseason. He’s 26, and nothing more than organizational depth.

    “Franklin is currently better than Figgins, Turner, and Gordon.” Who says so? Just because he’s a former #1 pick by Seattle in 2009 doesn’t say anything to me. Just another prospect (suspect). Not exactly a shining minor league record, and nothing special in the 369 ABs he had with Seattle last year. Right now, I’ll take all of the above over him.

    I’ve also thought for a long time that Kemp was better served playing in right. And since we have Puig in right, left would be fine with me. I seriously doubt if Pederson is opening the season in LA. If he does well in the minors, maybe he gets a call later in the year. As Mark suggested in the previous thread, and which I’ve always thought myself, the team that begins the year is not likely to the one which ends it. If Ethier and Puig share centerfield to start the season, I’m fine with it.

    And please, let’s not start jumping to conclusions based on a single exhibition game. Not even 20 exhibition games is enough. Be patient, and let things develop. Guerrero had a bad day, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. Stripling had a terrible outing, that doesn’t mean he’s no longer a prospect, and so on and so forth. And let’s not try to forget that Brian Barden hit over .500 in the spring last year.

  6. Badger says:

    I wouldn’t say Guerrero had a bad day. In fact, he got his first two at bats against ML pitching. It was a good day.

    I trust Kershaw knows what he is doing. He could pitch like that for a month and still make the team.

  7. Bob says:

    Kershaw was rocked in his first 3 starts last year, No big deal. When did Rosen begin pitching? December? At least he looks good. Can he get any better? Crawford looks to be in good shape, although he may be a DH candidate in a year or two. I STICK BY MY OPINION REGRDING FRANKLIN LITTLE Sean.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nick Franklin? I had to look him up. He had a decent year in AAA, but didn’t impress as a rookie. The Mariners are trying to dump him. Since he is under team control seems to me if he was any good they would use him as their backup, though obviously that would be a lot of bench time. We have second base covered. He will find a starting job somewhere if he’s any good.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Kemp’s gold glove was based more on his offense than defense. Anyone who has followed baseball long enough knows that’s often the case.

    Badger, I stand corrected. It’s stretching it for me to say that Guerrero had a bad day. Got some at bats, and made some plays on defense. He should get more comfortable day-to-day.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    I have been to Spring Training about 6 times and have followed baseball since the late 1940s — and I grew up 1 mile from Hi Corbett Field in Tucson where the Cleveland Indians used to have their training back in the 50s and 60s — and was there many many days.

    I know this from that experience — Spring Training games are only to get into shape and get ready for day 1 of the real season.

    Yes, we like to see hitters get several hits, and pitchers throw zeros — but they are only getting ready. Yes, we like for our team to win games, but with getting ready, playing minor lraguerers, etc. teams just get in work.

    So today — good day for Puig with 2 hits and a nice throw to home; good day for Rosin with 2 innings pitched and 5 Ks; good day for Dominguez with 1 inning and 2 Ks; bad day for Kershaw with 2 innings and 5 hits given up; bad day for Stripling with 2 innings and 5 hits given up.

    And, I bet some guys had great times in the batting cages and others fielding ground balls and fly balls in workout drills.

    All of it is simply to get in some work.

    Yet, usually by the end of Spring Training — some teams with the best records were teams down in the standings last (real) season.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Rosin definitely had a nice day, and maybe he will turn out to be really good. And maybe not. Problem is that he is very unlikely to make this team, and as a Rule 5 draftee would have to be offered back to the Phillies for $25,000 if he doesn’t make the 25-man roster. My guess is, that if the Dodgers are really impressed, that they will offer a deal to the Phillies to acquire Rosin, and then send him out to ALBQ or Chattanooga. Not sure what the Dodgers would have to surrender to get him in a trade.

    • Badger says:

      That’s exactly what I was going to ask Brooklyn. I don’t see room for Rosin but if this were to continue the Dodgers have to work something out.

      The Gold Glove award has always been suspect. Kemp is ok in center but there are better.

      I’m thinking I might go down just to watch Guerrero and Arbar work out together. For me it would be worth the drive just for that.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m also thinking that if the Dodgers are sufficiently impressed with Rosin, they could carry him on the 25-man early in the season when the full 12-man staff won’t be needed due to days off, and a roster spot can also be opened up by strategically using the DL. Might be a way for the Dodgers to buy some time to work out a deal with Phillies. Just a thought.

  13. SpokaneBob says:

    Joc Pederson certainly looks like a ballplayer. I was glad to see Uribe has gotten into better shape. I hope it translates to better play.

    Kershaw is really filling out physically. He looks really strong. His best years are yet to come….

    I favor Puig in center and Kemp in right. Ethier can fill in at all 3 positions.


    Can’t wait to see how this line up plays.

  14. Badger says:

    Agree with Bob.

    Tightness already? What, you weren’t running in the off season? Maybe he does too much of that indoor ballistic stuff, which is good, but as an athlete you have to run. Stretch and run. Stretch…. then run run run, the run some more. Do it all year long. Do track work outs. Those guys run like madmen and they don’t pull a hammy first week of training.

  15. Watford Dodger says:

    I knew Crawford had felt something on that play – he hopped at the end – as if he’d felt something. Joc better get himself ready for some big league bench action. Your right Roger – Joc looked fleet footed.
    So to Mark’s point above, we probably really do need another outfielder although there is always SVS. We really do have a fragile team don’t we? Can Crawford, Hanley, Guerrero or Kemp (when he can run on grass) sprint flat out with any confidence with their hamstring histories? Gonzo & AJ won’t pull anything as they don’t move fast enough if that’s any consolation. Really hope we don’t have another season of holding our breath every time anyone has to sprint.

  16. Watford Dodger says:

    Zack had a twinge in his right knee just after delivering the pitch as he was landing on it – tried it one more time but left the game after 4 pitches. Didn’t look like he was limping. Just getting old I guess. Now he knows how we feel. Reckon he will be ok.
    Gordon playing 2nd ok.

Click Here to Leave a Reply