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Matt Kemp Out At Least Four Weeks

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It's going to be a while before Matt Kemp plays again.
It's going to be a while before Matt Kemp plays again.

The Dodgers got the MRI results for Matt Kemp on Thursday, and the center fielder will miss at least four weeks with not one but two left hamstring strains.

"He has a little bit of swelling in the same area, as well as a new strain in a different part of the hamstring. They
are both Grade 1 strains," said Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone. "Obviously with two strains in one muscle, it's going to be a little bit longer from a rehab standpoint, so we'll just take it day by day."

The new hamstring strain for Kemp is a little higher on the hamstring than the previous one, according to Falsone.

After watching the replay of Kemp scoring from first base on a double on Wednesday numerous times, Falsone believes he injured the hamstring as he approached third base, as he started to decelerate but then quickly accelerated when Kemp realized he had a chance to score.

"Quite frankly in rehab you can't mimic game speed. We can have him run as hard as he wants, which we did. We ran the bases hard, we did deceleration, we did stopping, change of direction, we did all that stuff," Falsone said. "No matter what, you can't mimic game speed. You can't mimic that adrenalin, you can't mimic all the different reactions that could possibly happen. That's what happened. Game speed got him."

The Dodgers were able to craft a MacGyver-esque solution for Kemp's first disabled list stint, using duct tape, a stick of gum, and a paper clip to go 9-5 without Kemp in May. But to be without Kemp for essentially all of June, a month in which the Dodgers play 19 road games and 10 home games, that will be a tall order.

Kemp understandably took the news hard, but manager Don Mattingly saw that as an endearing quality in his best player.

"It's kind of touching the way Matt is. When we see a guy who wants to play that bad. It hurt him last night. That was not good," Mattingly said. "All he wants to do is play. The fact that he's not going to be able to hurts him that bad, it's kind of cool actually."

The Dodgers recalled Alex Castellanos from Triple A, but apparently the switch to second base, where he has started 19 games this season for Albuquerque, hasn't quite taken hold yet. Mattingly said Castellanos will play mostly outfield with the Dodgers.

"I think we're pretty much bringing him to play more outfield. We've got three or four guys who are combination guys that play short, who play second and third," Mattingly said. "If it was a double switch or something late in the game where he ended up at second base I could see that happening."

Mattingly also said that had Castellanos not suffered a left hamstring strain in late April, he would have been the first one recalled, before both Scott Van Slyke and Jerry Sands.

Juan Rivera is playing in his second rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday, but he also reported soreness after Wednesday's rehab game. There is no specific timetable for when Rivera will be activated, but the Dodgers don't want to rush him back.

"It's went really well so far," Mattingly said, of Rivera's rehab. "We just don't want to push that envelope until we know he is ready."

In other injury news, Mark Ellis has no plans to undergo any additional leg surgeries at this time. For now, the plan is rest and rehabilitation, and Falsone said there is still a chance Ellis could return within the original time frame of six weeks from the date of the injury.

"Right now we're looking at rehab and moving forward. He's doing well, his range of motion is really good, and he's moving well," said Falsone. "We're still looking at about six weeks. It could be a little bit longer, it could be a little bit sooner."

Starting Lineups

James Loney is sitting against Zack Greinke, the first time Loney has been benched against a right-hander this season. Loney, who is in an 0-for-12 slump, will also get Friday off against the left-hander Josh Outman in Colorado. Scott Van Slyke starts at first base tonight against the Brewers, and will do so again Friday at Coors Field.

"It's been a little bit of a battle lately. The last week hasn't been great. We got a lefty tomorrow, I figure he could use a couple of days and see where we're at from there," Mattingly said of Loney. "We'll give Scottie a shot to play without having to come in and try to pinch hit off the bench.

Mattingly also said Castellanos would likely be in the lineup Friday.

LF Aoki (L) CF Herrera (S)
CF Morgan (L) C Ellis
RF Hart LF Abreu (L)
3B Ramirez RF Ethier (L)
1B Green (L) 2B Hairston
2B Weeks 3B Kennedy (L)
C Maldonado 1B Van Slyke
SS Maysonet SS Gordon (L)
P Greinke P Billingsley

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

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