Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/31/12

Matt Kemp‘s frustration was apparent as he rounded second base in the first inning of last night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Fears of the worst were confirmed as Kemp destroyed a bat in frustration: the Dodgers’ star expects to return to the disabled list, and he could miss more than two weeks this time around.

The Dodgers are without question a star driven team, with players like Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier holding up an otherwise unimpressive roster. Yesterday’s lineup following Kemp’s departure read like something one would expect at an Albuquerque Isotopes contest. With Kemp out for multiple weeks, the Dodgers will turn to the ‘Topes best, Alex Castellanos. The 25-year-old will replace Kemp on the roster according to Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein.

Castellanos has been riding a hot streak since his promotion to Double-A to open 2011. He put up a .411 wOBA with the Cardinals’ Double-A Springfield squad before his inclusion in the Rafael Furcal trade. With the Dodgers, he improved all three triple-slash categories en route to a .439 wOBA for Double-A Chattanooga. Then he destroyed the Arizona Fall League with three homers and a .828 slugging percentage in eight games. Finally, his Triple-A performance this season forced the Dodgers’ hands: 17 extra-base hits in 21 games and a .361/.465/.711 line.

Given the Dodgers’ other options — Tony Gwynn Jr, Elian Herrera, Scott Van Slyke — going for the unproven but promising Castellanos is an easy choice. Neither of the former trio is projected for a wOBA above .306, a full 70 points below Kemp’s projected mark. Nobody expects Castellanos to come up and be Kemp, but if he can be even an average hitter it will be a huge improvement over the current roster.

Going from Albuquerque to Los Angeles will deflate his massive .349 Triple-A ISO, but Castellanos has shown patience (walk rate over 10% since the trade) as well. The question will be if he can make enough contact for it to count. He flirted with 25% strikeout rates in the low minors and with the Cardinals in Double-A, but again he seemed to make a big improvement following the trade, striking out in only 16.8% of plate appearances with Chattanooga and 20.4% with Albuquerque.

The Dodgers went 9-5 in Kemp’s absence thanks to tremendous pitching and defense — the team’s 3.14 ERA sits just behind the Nationals for the best in baseball. But Ted Lilly is on the DL and a .271 BABIP allowed seems destined to rise. The Dodgers will need to squeeze some extra punch out of a light lineup to survive their star’s absence. At 25 years old and just 21 games into his Triple-A career, Alex Castellanos is no guarantee to provide that punch. But with how well he has played in the last calendar year and the Dodgers’ extreme need for an impact bat (or even an average bat), it’s a gamble well worth making.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Joe Mixon drafted by Bengals; fans boo pick

Vikings land Adrian Peterson’s replacement, trade up for Dalvin Cook

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches moonshot completely out of Fenway Park

Kevin King, alone in green room, taken first in Round 2 by Packers

Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks for Mariners

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CFL fines head coach for meeting with Johnny Manziel rep

Reuben Foster hung up on Saints when 49ers called him

Packers ‘taking calls’ for No. 33 pick in draft

Bears confirm that Mike Glennon is their starter for the 2017 season

Report: Jets making calls trying to trade Sheldon Richardson

Broncos players take to Twitter to call for team to sign Gary Barnidge

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker