Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, placed on 15-day disabled list with strained left hamstring; Jerry Sands to take his spot.
By Jon Paul MorosiFoxSports
The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most surprising teams in baseball, are now without the best player in the National League.
The Dodgers placed center fielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list late Monday, due to a strained left hamstring.
''I'm disappointed,'' Kemp said after missing his first game since Aug. 18, 2009. ''This is my second time being on the DL, and the first time was a long time ago (April 2007). I like playing every game, but I've got to be healthy and playing at 100 percent for me to be effective. So I've got to let it heal. It's going to take some time.''
''It's hard for me to sit out for 15 days. I mean, I was going crazy tonight watching them play,'' Kemp said.
Kemp's streak of 399 consecutive games played came to an end in the Dodgers' 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. The streak was the longest active such streak in baseball. Detroit's Prince Fielder now holds the longest current streak at 216 games.
"We pretty much knew before the game, but didn't want to announce it," manager Don Mattingly told FOX Sports Southwest after the game.
"We just feel like it's the right thing to do. We found out that Matt wasn't going to give us the whole truth ... with the (condition of) the hamstring, and we had to, in a sense, protect him from himself.
"He wants to keep playing and that's what we like. He wants to be out there and doesn't want to miss (any playing time). But in the same breath, we're going OK and we have to make sure this thing doesn't turn into (a) long-term (situation).
"That's what the doctors talked to Matt about before the game, that we've got to get (the hamstring) healthy and healed up and not have to ... deal with this all year long."
Outfielder Jerry Sands was recalled from the minor leagues to take Kemp's roster spot.
Kemp is batting .359 with 12 home runs and 28 runs batted in. He is among the league leaders in all three categories.
"He (Kemp) was OK when he came to the realization ... about long-term health," Mattingly told FOX Sports Southwest. "He felt he was getting better after (we came back from) Chicago. He was able to run a little bit better. Then, when he turned it loose, he'd done (more damage).
“It's a mild strain, but the doc told him that if he injures it again, then it becomes four weeks (on the DL). We have a chance to get it healthy and make sure he doesn't have any long-term effects.