Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/9/13
Matt Kemp may still not be fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. Right when everyone appeared to be back and the Los Angeles Dodgers were finally going to have a roster at full strength, both Matt Kemp and 2013 surprise Stephen Fife headed to the disabled list Monday night before a three-game set with the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. The moves allowed Scott Van Slyke to return to the club three days after being sent down for the return of Carl Crawford. Newly acquired Ricky Nolasco was activated to replace Fife on the roster and the rotation. Kemp’s return to the DL comes just as he had showed signs of returning to be useful offensively. In the last two games at Colorado, Kemp went 4-for-10 with two home runs and four RBIs before leaving after taking a walk in the first game in San Francisco. While getting healthy is obviously a need, Los Angeles needs their returning players to actually hit in order to continue their pursuit of Arizona. Carl Crawford has done about as poor of a job as possible in that sense, going 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts and one walk since his return Friday night, including an 0-for-5 in Monday night’s 17-hit, 6-0 victory over the Diamondbacks. Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez continue to hit over .400, but can not be expected to have that continue. Obviously someone else needs to step up, as they have needed to all year, to replace at least some of the production expected by Kemp. Van Slyke figures to get some at bats, primarily against lefties, and deservedly so given his surprising 2013 season with a .569 slugging that includes six doubles and six home runs in 72 at bats. Left Fielder Carl Crawford has struggled since returning from the DL on July 5. However, more than likely this responsibility falls on Crawford, who will play nearly everyday in the suddenly not so crowded outfield. After entering the year as something of an unknown, the 31-year-old left fielder had his batting average at .301 and on-base percentage at .358 in 51 games before going down for more than a month. If he can, the Dodgers present a formidable top five batters thanks to Andre Ethier showing signs of life. Currently Ethier is on a small 7-game hitting streak, in which he has hit 12-for-28 with four walks and six runs scored. Ethier’s improved hitting may not, and probably won’t, continue. Even if it does, Crawford, Juan Uribe, A.J. Ellis or someone not currently on the roster needs to make up for Kemp’s more than likely extended absence. As for Fife, his loss hurts quite a bit less with the arrival of Nolasco which helps avoid a return to the rotation for Ted Lilly or Matt Magill. Given the timing, Fife more than likely will only miss a single start and the Dodgers can return to their original plan of sending the struggling Chris Capuano to the bullpen in the role of long reliever, something the Dodgers have lacked all season despite starting the year with seven starters. However, the numbers crunch for the Los Angeles pitching staff is nearing. Carlos Marmol spent Monday throwing for Don Mattingly and Rick Honeycutt and is headed to Rancho Cucamonga Wednesday to throw an inning. Lilly has been in Rancho on a rehab assignment and Fife will be back shortly after the All-Star break. The Dodgers recently began to cut some of their dead weight, letting go of Luis Cruz, designating Matt Guerrier for assignment and sending Peter Moylan back to Albuquerque as such examples. But more tough decisions, optioning Van Slyke rather than cutting one of their many utility players an example, are on the way. Only so many pitchers, especially aging starters, can be carried on the major league roster. There is not room for both Capuano and Lilly to waste away in the bullpen and the team already made the decision to keep Fife in the rotation before his injury. Logically, Lilly should never pitch for the Dodgers again and Marmol will have a short leash, as the Dodgers have little invested in him. The tough decisions have been put back on hold for at least a few weeks, but they will pop up again soon. Possibly even sooner if the Dodgers continue their pursuit of upgrading their roster as more teams begin to sell with the July 31 deadline approaching.  

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

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

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

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