Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, June 24, 2013

Matt Kemp Admits that His Shoulder Hasn’t Been Right

This morning on San Francisco radio, Josh Suchon was interviewed about the upcoming Dodger-Giants series and additionally he was given an opportunity to plug his book on the ’88 Dodgers, Miracle Men, (Note: LINK HERE  to my review of Josh's excellent book on the last Dodger championship team).   In the course of the interview on KNBR radio with Brian Murphy, the topic of Matt Kemp was discussed at length, since he’s currently under-going a rehab assignment at Albuquerque, where Suchon works as the play by play announcer for the Isotopes.
It has always been the macho thing for players to never give excuses when they are slumping.  Kemp has never been the type of player that would admit that an injury is hindering his performance, but in a conversation with Suchon during this rehab assignment in Albuquerque, he has subtley admitted that the shoulder injury has sapped his power.  “He admitted that he hasn’t been able to follow through,” said Suchon when asked about Kemp.  “He has a very high follow through. He hits those majestic home runs that seem like they’re never going to come down and land to straight away center.  He hasn’t been able to get that extension with his shoulder and he said that while he was on the disabled list for the hamstring injury, he was finally able to build up the strength in that shoulder and be able finish the way that he has."
So now that we have some confirmation on what we all suspected, and that is that Kemp was playing at way less than 100%, that should be good news now that he’s saying that he has been able to build up the shoulder strength and he can follow through with his swing, right?  Well maybe so, but there’s the question of re-gaining his timing and most important of all, getting his mind right and mastering the mental aspects of the game.
“Now what he’s got going is he’s got the confidence problem of realizing that he hasn’t hit in a while and (questioning himself) ‘is the swing still there,’“ added the Albuquerque Isoptopes play-by-play man.  “When he heard the boos in Dodger Stadium, it hurt.  Some guys say that they don’t care and that it doesn’t affect them and they don’t even hear it.  He heard it and it stung,  and he’s got a confidence problem right now which can be solved very quickly with a couple of key hits.  But that’s something that he’s got to overcome.”
Additionally Kemp is working on some minor mechanical adjustments that he believes will get him going, one has to do with his timing which is a shortened leg kick.  “He’s worked on things and he’s tried a new thing where he’s not going to have as much of a leg kick that he had before."  In Kemp’s eight plate appearances in Albuquerque, he has struck out five times and doubled once.  His hamstring seems to be healed as he stole a base as well.   Suchon believes that this is the norm when you’ve been away for a few weeks.  Timing of in-game conditions doesn’t come back over-night.

Don Mattingly mentioned to Bill Shaiken yesterday that Kemp's rehab may be extended a few games until his timing is back.  (Shaiken's LA Times story LINKED HERE)

1 comment:

  1. I figured that as with Gonzalez, Kemp may well have shoulder issues sapping his power.

    However, does the follow through thing mean a hitter can't hit the ball? That is not for power, but just hit the ball. Most of Adrian's RBI's have not come on homers.

    We spoke of adjustments with Puig. Matt probably has to do the same and settle for improved BA until his power returns, if it does.