Matt Kemp‘s injury woes have constantly been in the news since he first got injured on May 14, 2012. Since then, Kemp has spent months on the DL and had surgery in the last offseason. Kemp just cannot seem to catch a break.
Athletes go down with injuries fairly frequently, so this sort of event is not shocking to teams and players. However, there comes a point when the amount of times a player re-injures himself is somewhat laughable, albeit, disappointing.
New York Yankees fans are finally rejoicing in the second return of their “Captain,” Derek Jeter. The Yankees’ second baseman fractured his ankle in the 2012 ALCS and then developed a small crack in the same ankle during his rehabilitation. Clearly, the baseball gods do not hate Jeter, as his 39-year-old body is merely paying the price for his eventual Hall-of-Fame career. But Jeter does know the disappointment Kemp feels, as his own return from the disabled list was cut short when he injured his quad almost immediately.
Kemp has struggled to get things going ever since that fateful day in 2012. After his return from the DL, Kemp re-injured his hamstring just two days later. Fast forward a year and Kemp has landed himself on the 15-day DL on three separate occasions in 2013.
Kemp’s most recent DL stint came as a result of a botched slide into home plate that tweaked his ankle. Kemp and manager Don Mattingly both stated that they did not believe this injury would be a big deal and that Kemp would not need to go on the DL, but they were both very wrong. Kemp’s trip to the DL is retroactive back to July 22, which means he is eligible to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 4, three days from now.
Unfortunately, it does not look like Kemp will be ready in time and will require more time to rehabilitate. Roberto Baly, a notable Dodgers writer, tweeted this before yesterday’s game:
Dodgers recall Scott Van Slyke; option Elian Herrera to Tripe-A Albuquerque http://t.co/dkxulfTUPt
— Roberto Baly (@rbaly79) July 31, 2013
This is bad news for Dodgers fans because Scott Van Slyke is an outfielder. With Van Slyke up, that means the Dodgers need another outfielder to give their outfield rotation some time off, but Kemp is not going to be that man right now. This strongly suggests that Kemp’s return will be pushed back further than Aug. 4.
As the deserving winner of the 2011 MVP Award, Kemp’s career has had some amazingly high moments. Regrettably, those highs have been pulled down to reality by Kemp’s recent injury troubles. Dodgers fans everywhere should be hoping and praying that Kemp’s amazing start is not followed by years of frustration and setbacks.
At the rate he is going, Kemp could turn into a less accomplished version of Ken Griffey Jr., and I think not even Griffey himself would wish that on anyone. Although “Junior” will likely land in the Hall of Fame when he is eligible in 2016, he will forever be known as the guy who could have been the greatest hitter ever, but a series of unfortunate injuries got in the way and slowed him down. May the baseball gods have mercy on Kemp!