The Los Angeles Dodgers have been pretty banged up of late. Their outfield in particular has been decimated by injury, with Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier each dealing with injury issues of some sort in the past couple of weeks, as well as Carl Crawford. Not to mention Hanley Ramirez, who has dealt with multiple injuries throughout the year.
The good news there is that none of them are missing significant time because of injuries. The even better news is the fact that Matt Kemp finally returned from injury, after what has been a frustrating season with multiple injuries and multiple setbacks.
In his return, Kemp has gone six for his first 13 at-bats, including a 4-for-4 ballgame on Tuesday night, his first night back as a starter in the lineup. We’ve already seen Kemp return from injury and play well, only to go down with another injury. The Dodgers will be careful with him down the stretch.
Barring any setbacks this time around, the Dodgers will head into the postseason, for which they’ve already clinched a berth and a National League West Division title, with a fresh and mostly healthy Matt Kemp. If they weren’t already World Series favorites, they might just be now.
With Kemp in the mix, the Dodgers are not only more loaded than they already were, they get one of the best players on the planet back in the lineup. As frustrating as it’s been for him in these last two years, this year because of injury, there’s no denying his status as a five-tool guy. Getting someone like that back in your lineup has benefits that cannot be overstated.
Kemp is one of the best players in baseball. It’s pretty impossible to deny that. Getting him back into the mix doesn’t make the Dodgers a lock for a World Series title, as a lot can happen, particularly in a five-game series in the first round, but it does make them overwhelming favorites to clinch at least the National League pennant, given their current makeup (on paper, of course).