Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Is it time to be concerned about Matt Kemp’s strikeouts?

photo by Jennifer Hilderbrand, US Presswire
I saw something yesterday.  It looked like a replay of 2010.  Matt Kemp was swinging at the low and outside junk and swinging and missing as he swung from the heals.  It was a concerning development.  Maybe I’m just over-reacting, but I have seen this more than once this spring.
62 ABs, 17 Hits, 2 HRs, 12 RBI, 2 BBs, .274 Avg., .288 OBP and 24 Strikeouts.

Yes, I know.  Small sample size, Spring Training, usually pitchers are ahead of the hitters.  All of those excuses are relieving to some extent.  The problem I have is that we haven’t seen any marked improvement from Matt as we get nearer and nearer to the season opener.
Here’s hoping that he switches on a light switch and goes 5 for 5 against the Padres on April 5th and everyone writes an “I told you so,” comment to me on this thread.  As a follower of Matt since his days at Jacksonville, I seem to forget that he’s not that kid with raw talent anymore.  He’s not the guy engaged in trash can wars with Jeff Kent.  Kemp is now a seasoned veteran with a dozen years of Major League experience and one of the highest paid players in the game.  He should know what he’s doing.
I’d just feel better if he laid off the low and away stuff or shortened up and hit that stuff to the right side of the field.
Bullpen Blues
I know a lot of guys are impressed with Todd Coffey and his personality is a definitely a good fit for the team.  Unfortunately, his stuff isn’t impressing lately.  He has been downright awful the last two weeks.  Is it possible that the Dodgers are re-thinking his inclusion on the 25 man roster?  Is it important to send Eovaldi to the minors to get in is work?  Perhaps management needs to think about that situation with a little more in depth.

Speaking of awful, it's a good thing that Ronald Belisario is suspended for a few weeks.  He certainly needs some work in the minors for a while.  Belisario is simply not the pitcher he was three years ago when he regularly sawed off bats with that sinking fastball.  Hopefully someone can pinpoint a mechanical flaw that he may have.  The velocity is still there but the sink is gone.  These are the days we miss a guy like Brad Ausmus in the organization, (who is back with the Padres correcting delivery flaws of Padre pitchers).
MacDougal, Elbert and Jansen stunk up matters in Anaheim yesterday too.  Let’s hope that they are simply getting the bad outings out of the way before starting the season starts in two days.
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes include the following starting pitchers on their roster:
Chris Reed, Zach Lee, Garrett Gould, and Angel Sanchez

It’ll be a good year to see some California League baseball this year.  The Quakes pitching is stacked with top level pitching prospects.  If you get a chance, go out and see these kids, Lee, Gould and Reed are on the fast track to the big leagues and I believe they should be pitching at the Ravine in 2 or 3 years, (maybe sooner).


  1. I think it is always time to be concerned about strikeouts. I hate K's. They accomplish nothing. I really hope Matt doesn't keep fishing for that low and away pitch. I can recall Steve Garvey being a sucker for that pitch in the world series, and Joe Carter with the Jays flailing away at those pitches.

    Hopefully Matt hasn't put too much pressure on himself with his 50/50 talk, an almost impossible task. If he hits 50 homers he certainly cuts down on stealing opportunities. If he tries to hit 50 homers, he will be playing into the hands of the pitchers. His strength last year was just driving the ball where it was pitched, especially to centre and away. Yes, I'm concerned about Matt.

    The bullpen had a bad day, no doubt. Todd Coffey has had some bad outings lately, causing concern. It is also a concern that Jansen and Elbert struggled. Another concern for me is to get Josh Lindblom on board.

    RC should be a fun place. Angel Sanchez came out of nowhere last year being a pleasant surprise. I'm still not sure about Reed, drafted as a reliever and converted to starting. A lefty apparently with something special observed by Logan and our scouting staff. A good athlete, which seems to be high on our list of priorities for pitchers.

    It will be interesting to see if Chris Withrow is ahead of these kids this year. Also, if Ethan Martin is converted to a position player, perhaps 3B. I'm also wondering what will happen with Ralston Cash this year, perhaps rookie ball if he is healthy.

    At some point in 2012, I expect one or two of our young arms to be traded.

  2. Well there you have it - Matt Kemp is reportedly dating Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria. The last time Matt dated a big named hottie (Rihanna), he had the worst season of his career. I'm thinking deja vu all over again. Come on Matt - get your head screwed on straight again!