Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 5/15/12

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday with a strained hamstring, and the team recalled Jerry Sands from AAA to replace him on the roster. Kemp is only expected to miss the minimum 15 days, and should be ready to go on May 29th. The Dodgers might not miss him all that much, with the 6.5 game lead they have over the Giants in the NL West, and only three games over the rest of May against teams above .500 (a series with the Cardinals this weekend, at Dodger Stadium). But overall, how much will the Dodgers miss Kemp?

Matt Kemp hasn't been just the best Dodgers player this season, he's been the best hitter in the National League. 12 homers, a 1.173 OPS, and 28 RBI really emphasize that point. But Kemp is protected in the order by a pretty damn good hitter in Andre Ethier, who has a .960 OPS, eight homers, and 33 RBI this year. However, Ethier won't be replacing Kemp in the Dodgers' lineup...that will likely be Tony Gwynn Jr, who isn't half the hitter that Kemp is. Gwynn has most of his value come from his glove, as his bat is really nothing special. He's got decent plate discipline, but no power...a key trait for an outfielder, especially when you're replacing an outfielder in Kemp who has a .368 ISO this year.

The presence of Kemp has resulted in LA putting a top ten offense onto the field this year. Taking him away will obviously hurt their overall production, but I don't think it will cripple them. If Kemp is only out until the end of the month like initially expected, the Dodgers can make do with Gwynn, Sands, and Scott Van Slyke splitting time in the outfield to replace him. These three couldn't combine to match the production of Kemp in center, but with LA's weak schedule for the rest of the month, I don't think the Dodgers are going to necessarily need him. When you also consider the offensive production that the Dodgers have gotten from Ethier, catcher AJ Ellis (.954 OPS in 28 games), and recent signee Bobby Abreu (.789 and looking rejuvenated in ten NL games), the Dodgers should continue with business as usual while Kemp is out.

If Kemp suffers a setback and will miss a substantial amount of time though, things could get much more complicated for the Dodgers.

Photo courtesy of Daylife.com

[follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

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

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

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