The Los Angeles Dodgers are last in the National League West, but their fans had harbored hope that Matt Kemp — nearly the league MVP two years ago — could revive his bat and lift the offense.
But that won’t happen for at least two more weeks.
The Dodgers announced Thursday that they placed Kemp on the 15-day disabled list because of a mild right hamstring strain. They called up catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque to take his roster spot.
Kemp has been unable to hit for power since undergoing extensive left shoulder surgery during the offseason. He’s hitting just .251 with two home runs and 17 RBI. His OPS is down 250 points since last season and 300 points since 2011.
It’s the fourth time in Kemp’s career that the two-time Gold Glove winner has been on the DL, including two stints last season because of a left hamstring strain that cost him a combined 51 games. The Dodgers were 24-27 in his absences.
”It’s not bad luck. It’s life,” Kemp said. ”I never want to be away from the game, but I have to at the moment. It comes with the territory, but it’s disappointing.”
Kemp’s injury does present an opportunity for the Dodgers to summon a top outfield prospect — Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson — from the minor leagues. Veteran super-utility man Skip Schumaker is the only Dodger to start in center field this season other than Kemp.
Entering Thursday, the Dodgers were 9-16 in May — third-worst in the National League — amid ongoing scrutiny of manager Don Mattingly’s job security.