Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kemp, Puig and Managing Days Off with the Regulars

Matt Kemp continues his rehabilitation assignment today, but this time away from the crowds and official minor league game action.  The Dodgers saw fit to send him back to Camelback Ranch, where he'll face minor league pitchers that recently concluded their season.  Frankly, I think it's a mistake and that he should be activated for Major League action now, but there must be a method to their madness and genuine concern that seeing major league pitching right now is not a good idea for his confidence.  Regaining timing at the plate can be a complicated venture.

There are few major league ball yards that break offensive woes for players better than Coors Field and Cinergy Field.  I can think there cold be no better venues for him to return to, but the Dodgers are content with waiting for his return to be at home.  That would be on Monday, September 9th against Arizona.  At the rate the Dodgers are winning and the D-Backs losing, that may be a key game in the midst of an NL West clinching period.  At least darn near it anyway.


Yasiel Puig sits tonight to allow his "strained" right knee some rest.  Dodger brass is conveying that the injury is minor in nature.  Let's hope so because as controversial Puig is, there's no doubt that he's a spark plug to this team.  Never have I seen a player that provides so much conversation fodder. He's that daily topic at the office water cooler every day, be it from a bonehead move to a sparkling highlight reel play.  Yasiel is the topic, constantly.


Tonight's lineup is void of five regulars in the lineup.  In the past we'd be livid over it, but this time it just seems appropriate.  A lot of the starters are showing their fatigue, even in the midst of another winning streak.  I believe that A.J. Ellis needs some lengthy rest this month, as he hasn't ever really caught so much in a  full season before.  The wear and tear of a rigorous catching season is showing with him and he is desperately needed when post season play arrives.  With the arrival of Michael Young, watch for Adrian Gonzalez to get some much needed rest too.

The balancing act for Mattingly will be figuring out how much rest each of his starters need and assuring that they don't get too rusty in their time off from action.  It'll be important for the veterans to communicate effectively with their managers in this month.  That is where proven veteran leadership plays a large role with the team.  I believe that for the most part, that is one of the Dodgers strong suits this year.


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