Dodgers @ D’Backs Sept. 16, 2013: Matt Kemp Is Back, Sort Of

September 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

chasefieldMatt Kemp is not in the starting lineup tonight for the Dodgers in Arizona, but he has been activated and could be used as a pinch-hitter. Now that he’s active, along with the surprise additions of Alex Castellanos and Chili Buss (starting again in left field tonight) from a few days ago, the Dodgers have 36 active players.

Yes, you can count me as strongly being in favor of the proposals floating around that would allow teams to activate as many players as they like in September, but would require the manager to designate 25-28 active players prior to each game. It’s kind of ridiculous to have important September games played under completely different rules; the only members of the 40-man not with the team are Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers, Matt Magill, and Javy Guerra, each of whom have seen time with the team this year, and that could change if Jose Dominguezwho will throw a bullpen session in Arizona as he works back from a quad injury — comes back before the end of the season, requiring a 40-man move to be made.

Dodgers
D’Backs
SS
Punto
CF
Eaton
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Hill
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Goldschimdt
RF
Puig
LF
Prado
C
A.Ellis
C
Montero
CF
Schumaker
3B
Davidson
3B
Uribe
RF
Parra
LF
Buss
SS
Gregorius
P
Ryu
P
Cahill

Buss becomes the ninth different Dodger to start in left field, though for the moment he’ll be the third — along with Castellanos and Yasiel Puig — with just a single start there. That equals the nine who started there last year, and who among us doesn’t miss Bobby Abreu and Shane Victorino? Other than, you know, everyone?

Back to Kemp, he “hit the ball hard every time” during five rounds of batting practice, per David Vassegh, and “appeared to be in a great mood”, per Tony Jackson, though Ken Gurnick noted that Kemp “looked tentative” running the bases. Continuing the run around the local media, Molly Knight confirms that if Kemp gets into tonight’s game, it would be as a hitter, as he would not run or play the field.

Otherwise, Puig returns to the lineup, but Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier do not, at least not yet, and now Scott Van Slyke has some rib tightness that keeps him out, though he may be able to pinch hit. That means that you get the grittiest top of the lineup ever in Nick Punto and Mark Ellis, though I have absolutely no answer as to why Juan Uribe is hitting seventh.

Finally, don’t count on Alexander Guerrero landing any time soon — the only signing he’s doing these days is with Scott Boras, who now indicates they are “entertaining offers from all 30 teams”. I assume you know better than to take that at face value, if only because there’s absolutely no way every single team in baseball is really interested, but joining Boras isn’t exactly a great sign for a quick signing.

Oh, and after all that about injuries and player movement… the Dodgers send Hyun-jin Ryu out against Trevor Cahill in what’s actually become a somewhat important series, not because there’s really any danger of blowing the division, but because with all the health concerns it’d be best to just get this over with as quickly as possible. If the Dodgers win tonight, they head into tomorrow’s game with the chance to wrap things up behind Zack Greinke.

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