LOS ANGELES — Matt Kemp’s rehabilitation stint at the minor-league level hasn’t exactly been impressive, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly insists the team isn’t concerned with his numbers.
Despite poor results in his first three games — Kemp is 2 for 11 with six strikeouts for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes — they don’t want him to push his return from a strained right hamstring.
“It’s going to take him a little bit, but whenever he’s ready,” Mattingly said Monday at Dodger Stadium before the Dodgers opened a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
“He’s still got to make sure the leg’s holding up, and then from there it’s making sure he gets his timing. We don’t want him to come back until he’s ready. It’s been a month, right? It’s hard to say you’re ready to go after seven, eight at-bats.”
Kemp, who has been on the disabled list since May 30, was 0 for 5 with five strikeouts in his first rehab appearance Saturday, then went 1 for 3 Sunday.
Tuesday night, Kemp was 1 for 3 with one double, a walk and two runs for the Isotopes. He also stole a base and finished his three-game stay going 2 for 11 with six strikeouts.
He’s expected to rejoin the Dodgers on Tuesday after playing Monday night for Albuquerque.
Mattingly said it was still undecided how soon Kemp will be activated. He could need more rehab time in the minors.
“It’s nice to have guys coming back, but you want them to feel like they’re ready,” Mattingly said. “Just because you don’t get a hit in a minor league game doesn’t mean you’re not ready. If they feel like they’re ready and the timing’s there, it’s a different story.”
Also expected to rejoin the Dodgers this week is outfielder Scott Van Slyke, who is recovering from left shoulder bursitis. Van Slyke has been on the DL since June 11.