If you were to say two years ago that Matt Kemp would wind up as the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ fourth outfielder come 2014, I would have looked at you and called you crazy. However, a rash of injuries have forced Kemp into a minimized role as the Dodgers have seen three other outfielders step in and fill Kemp’s void. After undergoing both shoulder and ankle surgery withing the last calendar year, Kemp is getting to the point where his name seems to be involved in a trade rumor nearly every day.
Thankfully, the All-Star outfielder has returned to some light hitting as of late and the team is optimistic about Kemp’s availability for spring training. Normally, a player of Kemp’s caliber would see the months of January, February and March as the “offseason,” but this Dodger knows that he has a lot to prove to his ballclub. Thanks to a Yasiel Puig emergence, Kemp has quickly fallen out of favor with the hometown crowd, which could very well prompt him an early exit from LA.
MLB fans should prepare for plenty of Dodgers talk this spring as Kemp is a marquee player that could be in his last spring training as a member of the Dodgers. With that being said, Kemp could prove most of us wrong and dazzle this spring. Either way, let’s hope the Dodgers’ outfield can last more than 106 games this year — something Kemp hasn’t done since 2011.