Originally posted on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 5/17/12


The Dodgers iron man Matt Kemp has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. In a subsequent move Jerry Sands was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. Kemp, April's NL player of the month, was leading the NL in all three Triple Crown categories. On top of that, Kemp had played in a Major League high 399 games, last missing a game on August 18, 2009. That streak has obviously come to an end, but is the smartest and safest move at this point. No reason to put Kemp's season at risk, especially after the day-to-day approach failed the first time around less than one week ago. Kemp is expected to return to the Dodgers on May 29th, when he is first eligible to come off the disabled list. Manager Don Mattingly has said he hasn't spoken with Matt about a rehab assignment, but thinks Kemp would benefit from at least on minor league game before he returns, tweets Dylan Hernandez.

Sands has some pretty big shoes to fill, well let's face it, he can't even on his best day. On the plus side, Sands has the right attitude on his recent good fortune. Sands has said he plans on making the most of this opportunity. I certainly hope so, because with Juan Rivera out, and James Loney still struggling to put things together, Sands could provide a nice spark to jolt the offense in Kemp's absence. Sands was batting a line of .241/.331/.444 in 35 games, hitting six home runs and 27 RBI's. Hopefully Sands can get things going and earn a permanent spot on the Dodgers roster. Sands should expect to see some regular play time in left field and perhaps even first base, sharing time with Bobby Abreu, meanwhile Tony Gwynn Jr. will takeover as the interim starting center fielder.

This is the biggest test the Dodgers have faced so far in the young 2012 season. Hopefully the Dodgers do not put too much pressure on themselves offensively and get a losing streak going. The Dodgers need to pull together and continue to play great baseball. They can win without Kemp in the lineup, they have proven that. The Dodgers have a 5.5 game lead in the NL West over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers obviously would like to keep things the way they are as a worst case scenario. Of course things didn't go very well today, and the Dodgers will need to rebound tomorrow night when Aaron Harang takes the mound against the Padres.
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