Found July 04, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. A standing room only crowd of 6,516 packed Rancho Cucamonga's Epicenter Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of three rehabbing Los Angeles Dodgers, with special reverence paid to hobbled superstar Matt Kemp in his continued rehabilitation from a hamstring injury that his kept him out of the lineup for 46 of the last 48 Dodger games. Los Angeles is 22-26 in his absence. Though the scuffling Dodger offense broke open late in a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds the club has now plated 30 runs in the last 16 games it was all about Kemp, Mark Ellis and Javy Guerra at The Epicenter, as well as a post-game holiday fireworks show. Of course, it was what happened in between the chalk lines that mattered most to Kemp. "Am I looking forward to the fireworks? Right now I'm looking forward to getting back on this field," Kemp said prior to Tuesday's assignment. "That's about it. Maybe the fireworks after the game." With a 2-3 performance that included a lined single into left field, a second inning walk, a fourth inning strikeout and opposite field, two-strike single in the seventh, Kemp took a step forward in his latest attempt to return from a nagging hamstring injury that required a second DL stint after he re-aggravated it running the bases in a 6-3 loss to Milwaukee on May 30. "I've been off for a while, so seeing live pitching and all that felt a little weird, but as the game went on, I felt more comfortable. I think tomorrow it'll be a lot better," Kemp said. Though he was the designated hitter, he was able to test his hamstring on the basepaths and scored a first inning run in a game the Quakes won, 4-2, over the High Desert Mavericks. "It felt good. It felt loose," Kemp said of his hamstring. He'll play centerfield in tomorrow's game in San Bernardino against the Inland Empire 66ers and appears loosely targeted for a major league return date of July 13, the first game after the All-Star Break. He also spoke of the message he wanted to impart to the developing ballplayers he shared a clubhouse with Tuesday night. "Just playing hard and getting your work in. Having fun. The simple things that kind of make baseball easy," Kemp said. "When you're down here in the minor leagues, sometimes it gets a little bit frustrating because you put a little bit too much pressure on yourself trying to get up to the next level and things like that. All these guys need to do it to just relax, have fun, and let their abilities take over." For Guerra, who struck out a batter in a hitless first inning, it was a reversed role from his days as a minor leaguer when one particular rehabbing player left an impression on him. "Esteban Loaiza was probably the guy, because I've always looked up to him being Hispanic and being Mexican," he said. "Being as nice and open as he was, it was great. It translated a lot to a lot of guys, because you're able to kind of realize that these guys aren't on a pedestal. We're all human. Everyone wants to just get better." Guerra sounded confident in his ability to rejoin the Dodger roster soon after testing his arthroscopically repaired right knee that has kept him out of action since June 2. It was his first Cal League action since he was a member of the 2007 and 2008 66ers, a prior Dodgers affiliate. "It was a little surreal, because back in the day, the Quakes were the guys that we didn't like," he said. Ellis was 2-4 with a run scored at the plate and played six innings at second base. He is expected to be activated on Thursday with Andre Ethier bound for the disabled list with a strained left oblique suffered in the first inning of a 3-0 loss to San Francisco on June 27. "I got some counts where I went to 3-2 counts and saw a bunch of pitches, some breaking balls and some changeups and stuff, so it was perfect," Ellis said. "It was exactly what I needed." Though the team was seven and a half games up on San Francisco on May 27 and half a game behind the Giants after Tuesday's action, Kemp was optimistic of the team's circumstances over the second half of the season in the battle for a divisional title. "It's definitely a good feeling," he said. "We've just got to get back, everybody get healthy. Mark's getting healthy. I'm getting healthy. Javy's going to be back. We're going to have our whole team back, and that'll give us a little boost. We'll get Dre back after the All-Star Break or whatever the plan is for him. But once we get everybody back, everybody's going to get more comfortable." "That's when baseball gets exciting, in the second half when you're trying to fight for a playoff spot." It was certainly an exciting night in the Rancho Cucamonga clubhouse after the 4-2 win as the Quakes sauntered back in to find a postgame spread of P.F. Changs, all compliments of their temporary superstar. "It's fun, man," Kemp said. I remember I was back in Columbus, Georgia and Vero Beach, and this definitely brings back memories. You know, the guys, they've been really cool. It's just great to be down here with them and if they need anything, or if they need any advice on anything on how to get to the big leagues, I'm here for them, just like the big leaguers were there for me whenever I was in the lower class."

Dodgers take lead back in NL West as Matt Kemp plays 2nd rehab game

The Dodgers have taken the lead back in the NL West beating the Reds 4-1 and moving a half game ahead of the San Francisco Giants. Meanwhile their injured superstar, Matt Kemp played in his second rehab game with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The All-Star outfielder will continue with the Quakes through the weekend, [...]

Kemp announces pick for Home Run Derby

National League captain Matt Kemp of the Dodgers announced Sunday night that Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies will join him as the National League's four participants in the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 9, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Although Kemp has been sidelined since May 30 with a strained left...

Jose Bautista Favored Over Matt Kemp, Giancarlo Stanton to Win Home Run Derby

The 2012 Major League Baseball season goes dark for a few days after Sunday's games for next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City. One of the highlights of any All-Star Game is the annual Home Run Derby that's staged on the Monday night before the Midsummer Classic. Barring injury, the field is set for this year's Derby. National League captain Matt Kemp, the Dodgers...

Matt Kemp said the attention he received from dating Rihanna was ‘overwhelming’

As an MVP candidate and someone who makes $180 million playing in the city of Los Angeles, Matt Kemp must be accustomed to the celebrity lifestyle. Kemp is 27 years old and one of the brightest young stars in baseball. He has done fashion shoots for magazines and dated celebrities. If $180 million isn’t an indication that you’ve made it, being able to say you dated Rihanna certainly...

Home Run Derby participants named

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano,who won the 2011 Home Run Derby has been named the AL Home Run Derby captain.  He will be joined by three other men that can certainly hit batting-practice pitches out of the ballpark. Jose Bautista has hit seven home runs in his last 13 games and leads the MLB with 26. Prince Fielder has only hit 12 home runs in his inaugural season...

Chipper Jones named to All-Star team as Kemp's replacement

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was added to the National League All-Star team on Tuesday as a replacement for injured Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. The 40-year-old Jones, who has announced he will retire after this season, will participate in his eighth All-Star Game. He might have made the N.L. squad even if he had not been named as Kemp's replacement, because...

Home Run Derby teams announced

Captains Matt Kemp and Robinson Cano have announced their teams for next Monday's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game. Representing the National League along with Kemp will be Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. Representing the American League along with Cano will be Mark Trumbo of the Angels, Jose...

Chipper Jones to replace Kemp on NL roster

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones has been named by 2012 National League All-Star manager Tony La Russa to replace Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers on the N.L.s active roster for the 83rd All-Star Game, Major League Baseball announced today. Kemp, who was elected as a starter by the fans for a second consecutive year, has been on the disabled since May 31st with a left...

Chipper added to NL All-Star roster

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is replacing Dodgers third baseman Matt Kemp on the NL All-Star roster. Jones had been a candidate to be voted onto the team by fans in baseball's Final Vote campaign. Instead, the 40-year-old Jones is replacing Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but plans to participate in the All-Star home run derby. The Braves announced...

Chipper Jones replaces injured Matt Kemp on NL All-Star team

  Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones wasn’t voted a starter for the 2012 All-Star game by the fans and wasn’t selected as a reserve. He was eligible to be voted in by fans via the Final Vote for the National League’s last roster spot along with Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill, St. Louis [...]

Domino-effect makes Braun an ASG starter

MILWAUKEE With Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp officially out of next week's All-Star game, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was announced to take his place. That means Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, having finished third on the players' ballot, will officially start in the outfield for the National League. This starting nod will be Braun's fifth consecutive in All...

The Lineup Card: Nine All-Star Snubs by Baseball Prospectus

1. Alex Gordon When Matt Kemp was elected to the All-Star Game, despite his not-quite-yet-healed injury, it was widely assumed that Michael Bourn was the natural heir to Kemp's roster space. Kemp, as expected, bowed out, and his spot went to... Chipper Jones. Now that I'm in exile in Atlanta, I can understand giving Larry Wayne one last hurrah as an All-Star. Jones...

Dodgers' Ethier goes on 15-day DL

Andre Ethier went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained left oblique, leaving the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers without two of their All-Star outfielders. Matt Kemp has been out since May 30. Ethier's move was retroactive to June 28. The right fielder was batting .291 with 23 doubles, 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 75 games this season. Matt Kemp, who plays center...

Injury updates: Stewart, Braden, Kemp and Scherzer

Here's a running list of injury updates around the Major Leagues: – Infielder Ian Stewart will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery next week and will miss the reminder of the season according to Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times. – Left handed pitcher Dallas Braden finally threw a bullpen session yesterday and according manager Bob Melvin...

Los Angeles Dodgers: A Review/Preview

By What does it mean when a team scores as many runs in one game as it had in its previous eight games combined? Well, it could mean a couple of things. On the one hand it might mean that team exploded and lit up the scoreboard , and on the other it might mean that team has been struggling mightily recently with its bats. These situations...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.