It sounds funny to mention Grandal and Kemp in the same sentence because it was not that long ago that they were traded for each other. Yesterday, they were a version of the Bash Brothers as Yasmani Grandal takes back his starting job and Matt Kemp takes over in LF. If they both stay on this path of hitting, it could be a long season for anyone that doesn’t have “Dodgers” on their chest. Of course, it is a long season – it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. It’s still good to see them both doing well.
With the Dodgers’ depth, everyone is going to get plenty of rest. I can see Kike playing 4 or 5 days a week… at different spots: 3B, SS, CF, LF… wherever. He is a unique talent who brings high energy to every game. Barnes will play a lot. Toles will play a lot. Utley and/or Farmer? That remains to be seen. However, mull this over: It is possible that Kemp and Grandal hit 70-80 HR between them. Think about that one…
When Matt Kemp was traded for Yasmani Grandal, he was a prima donna and a bad inflence in the Clubhouse. He has recently admitted that it was hard playing for losing teams and that led to immense fattness and bad attitudery. He has slimmed down and has found a new attitude, if fact, dare I say he is becoming a team leader? An older, mature and chastened Matt Kemp seems to be beloved in this clubhouse by all of the key players. While not the burner he once was, he is still has above average speed. Yes, I saw the double drop in front of him yesterday. Maybe Toles would have had it. Maybe Taylor would have had it if he and Kemp had played together more (he stopped short so as to avoid a collision) or may it was not catchable. It probably depended upon your perspective.
I do not think Matt Kemp will be anywhere close to the worst left fielder in baseball this year. In fact, I believe the Dodgers have quit trying to trade him and that he may retire as a Dodger (now you are thinking that I have really lost my mind). Remember, that I have never been a Matt Kemp fan and I have personally seen what Kemp can do to a clubhouse. But, I am going to suggest that Matt Kemp is a different person than when he was a Dodger in his previous life and I am becoming a Matt Kemp fan.
I would love to see him go from the Outhouse to the Penthouse. I also believe he can put up huge numbers if he stays healthy and that comes from playing smart and not running into walls or dogging it around the bases. It would be premature to predict a MVP-TYPE season for Matt Kemp, and while many think he still has Zero value, I think you may be forced to change your mind. Matt Kemp is the starting Left Fielder and will be hitting 5th against MadBum. Yes, I know Kike rakes against the Bum, but starting Kemp and hitting him 5th on Opening Day is symbolic of the committment the Dodgers have to him. Not only is he on the team, but he could be one of the best players on it.
Wouldn’t that be something?