Matt Kemp finally cracks Dodgers starting lineup
MAY 28, 2014 8:07p ET
Crawford, who sprained his left ankle chasing a fly ball in four territory on Tuesday night, was put on the disabled list, opening the way for Kemp to make his first start in left field since his rookie season of 2006.
Kemp, the National League MVP runner-up in 2011, hasn't started since last Thursday in New York and expressed his frustration over sitting behind Crawford, center fielder Andre Ethier and right fielder Yasiel Puig. He lost his job in center because of concerns about his defense.
Kemp worked out in left before each of the past three games, enough that manager Don Mattingly said the transition from center to left should be seamless.
"Matt's a great athlete, and the outfield's the outfield," Mattingly said. "It's a little different angle. I was always taught the ball's going to go to the line. The ball in left-center is going to come back to you, the ball toward the line is going to go away. But he's a good athlete. He's played right. He's been out in left before."
Matt Kemp on playing LF: "I think I m still a pretty good athlete. I think I'll be OK."— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) May 28, 2014
Asked if Kemp would have played if Crawford had not been hurt, Mattingly said, "You never know. Carl got hurt. Obviously, it hurts us now that Carl got hurt. He was doing well, we liked what was going on. But that's what happens in this game. You never know what's going to happen the next day."
To take Crawford's spot on the roster, the Dodgers called up infielder Jamie Romak from Triple-A Albuquerque. Romack, 28, has never played at the big league level but was leading the Pacific Coast League with 10 home runs this month.