Los Angeles Dodgers: Possible Options To Replace Injured Matt Kemp

By Matthew Muench
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not placed center fielder Matt Kemp on the disabled list — yet. We are still awaiting word on how bad his hamstring injury is. But the guess here is he will land on the 15-day DL no matter how severe it is because a hamstring injury almost always results in the player being placed on the DL.

With that said, it’s time to guess who will replace Kemp on the roster. The fact is the Dodgers do not have many great options, but here is what they could do:

1-Wait a few days to see how Kemp feels: If they did this, they could have Andre Ethier play center field and hot-hitting Scott Van Slyke play right field. Ethier has experience in CF; he played there in college at Arizona State and made a start there last season. They also could have utility man Skip Schumaker (he replaced Kemp in CF on Wednesday) play the position for a few days. But manager Don Mattingly said Schumaker in CF was not a long-term option. This scenario is not likely to happen. I fully expect Kemp to go on the DL.

2-Call up a top prospect: Here is what most Dodgers fans want to see. They would love to see the Dodgers call up no. 1 prospect Yasiel Puig, who was an offensive machine in spring training this season (.517 average, .828 slugging). He has also been hitting well at Double-A Chattanooga with a .309/.386/.590 triple slash. Problem is, he has not played CF. He is a right fielder. The Dodgers could call him up and move Ethier to CF, but I don’t see that happening. If they call a prospect up it would be Joc Pederson, the Dodgers no. 2 hitting prospect. He has played CF all season for Chattanooga and has similar stats (.313/.393/.516) to Puig. But he is still only three years out of high school and very raw. I don’t expect the Dodgers to call either Pederson or Puig up. They rushed outfielder Jerry Sands last season and it hurt his progress. They also rushed shortstop Dee Gordon and we all see how bad he has been (.175 average this year). I don’t think they want to rush Puig or Pederson.

3-Call up a veteran: This is what I think the Dodgers will ultimately do today if Kemp lands on the disabled list. It is the safe bet. I think they first call up utility man Elian Herrera, who can play any position on the field, including center field. Herrera also gives Mattingly many options in the infield until Hanley Ramirez returns from his hamstring injury, which could be next week. Once Ramirez returns, the guess here is the Dodgers will recall Tony Gywnn Jr. and send Herrera back down.  Gywnn is not on the 40-man roster, but they could make room for him by placing injured pitcher Scott Tolleson on the 60-day DL. Gywnn is a nice option while Kemp heals. He plays great defense and has experience in the MLB with 605 games played in seven seasons. This year at Triple-A Albuquerque, the speedster is hitting .288.

What do you guys think? Who should get the call?

Matthew Muench writes about the Dodgers for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewMuench.



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