The Los Angeles Dodgers are used to playing without Matt Kemp this year. Throughout the year, during their struggles and their torrid pace in the second half of the year, they’ve been playing without their star centerfielder in the lineup.
As they approach the postseason, it’s worth questioning whether or not they could survive and pull off a reasonably deep postseason run without Kemp in the lineup. The reason that the question exists is the fact that he’s again slowed by an injury, which will rule him out for the entire postseason.
This time around, the injury is related to his ankle. He’s already dealt with shoulder and foot issues this season, and it’s led to what is essentially a lost year for him. Luckily for the Dodgers, they’ve already experienced life without him, and have succeeded.
In fact, it was the Kemp injury that afforded Yasiel Puig to get his callup and star like he has. While Puig has proven to be a quality replacement in Kemp’s absence, he’s far from the only notable presence in the Dodger outfield that makes the loss hurt less.
Without Kemp, it’ll be Puig and Carl Crawford as the cornerstones in the outfield. Until Andre Ethier returns, Skip Schumaker and Scott Van Slyke will hold it down as well. That’s a decent enough trio to make things happen, and the rest of their lineup is more than capable of making up for Kemp’s bat being out.
Again, the Dodgers are in a familiar spot, in playing without Kemp. They’ve experienced massive success even without him. Their lineup is loaded, and their pitching staff is among the best in baseball. Losing Kemp hurts, but they’re still a title contender.