LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp will be the designated hitter for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday afternoon in the fourth game of his minor league rehabilitation assignment. But as Kemp struggles to find his timing at the plate, he will continue his rehab with the Quakes through Monday, and possibly beyond, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly before Sunday's game against the Padres.
"We both want him to be ready. I want to make sure he's feeling good, and is comfortable out there. I talked to him last night and I know he doesn't feel good yet at the plate," Mattingly said. "He's not pushing us to say 'I want to be there tomorrow' or anything else."
Kemp is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in three games for Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes end their regular season Monday, but Kemp could continue his rehab with them during the California League playoffs should Rancho Cucamonga clinch a wild card berth. Or Kemp could possibly play in simulated games either with the Dodgers or at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.
"He's going to play today, and he's going to continue to play," Mattingly said. "But we just don't know the logistics."
Kemp has been sidelined since July 21 with a left ankle sprain. At some point, though we don't yet know exactly when, Kemp will join the Dodgers. But outside of Chris Withrow, who will be added Tuesday after Triple-A Albuqeruque's season ends, and Kemp, Mattingly said it was unlikely anyone else would join the five players promoted from Triple-A on Sunday morning.
That likely means no Alex Castellanos, no Elian Herrera, and no Justin Sellers. And barring an injury, no Javy Guerra, a victim of a bullpen already too full.
"We've talked about Javy a little bit, but the guys that are here, are here," Mattingly said. "He's not on the immediate radar."
Mattingly also said there are no plans to bring up Onelki Garcia as a third left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Garcia, the Dodgers' third round pick in 2012, held lefties to 11 singles in 71 at-bats (.155) between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque this season.
"As of right now I don't think there is a plan to bring Onelki. That's on hold," Mattingly said. "I know we were happy, just listening to some of our guys who have seen him this year. We're really happy with the way he was going this year. As the season went on he got better and better. He's kind of getting on the radar, but I'm not sure that's the present time."
One of the players recalled this morning, Stephen Fife, struggled mightily after a brief period in the bullpen with Triple-A Albuquerque, and has 16 walks in his last 14 minor league innings.
"It's something that Rick [Honeycutt, pitching coach] always talks about with guys in the minor leagues to put them in different roles and exposing them to different things, because you never know where they'll be able to help you," Mattingly said. "His role pretty much for me is a starter."
But that doesn't mean that Fife, who is 4-3 with a 2.47 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers this season, will necessarily mean he will get to start. It might depend on several factors, chief among them the performance of fellow excess starter Edinson Volquez and the Dodgers' place in the standings.
Mattingly said he spoke on Saturday night with Michael Young, who will join the Dodgers on Monday in Denver. Mattingly said he didn't expect any disruption of clubhouse chemistry nor any problems with Young, who has started 119 games this season and has been a regular his entire career, in a primarily reserve role.
"A guy like Michael Young comes with a sterling reputation. We're not trying to bring Michael in here to knock Adrian off of first base. Michael's here to add to our club, to give us added depth and is a guy who could do a lot of things."
Several actors and the director of the movie "The Sandlot" are at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, as the movie will be screened on the video boards after the game. I asked Chauncey Leopardi, who portrayed Squints in the movie, how many takes were needed to shoot his kissing scene with Wendy Peffercorn (played by actress Marlee Shelton).
"As many as I could mess up," he said.
Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket