|Photo courtesy of SI.com|
But as of right now, Kemp is a Dodger and the fight for left field is on. Andrew Toles missed much of last year with a torn ACL but he's ready to begin playing in games already and will certainly be a replacement candidate for that spot. Kiké Hernandez against lefties in the outfield another possibility, Joc Pederson who normally played center in his career might also be placed there if Chris Taylor does indeed stay the every day center fielder. Going by Fangraphs' depth chart and projections, Kemp isn't projected to start any game in the outfield this year. With still a month left to go before the regular season, that is certainly a possibility based on how he looks in the outfield. The analytics driven front office of the Dodgers is definitely not ignoring defensive metrics, it's a big reason why Kemp was traded away in the first place (among age and other factors like many other capable outfielders).
With all of that factoring in, should Matt Kemp still be on the Dodgers come the end of March? It hurts to say but probably not. With so many other options and outfield prospects waiting in the minors, Kemp isn't really a strong depth move. If even two of the names listed end up getting hurt sometime this Spring and can't make the Opening Day roster, Kemp is still not the ideal option to fill in with plenty of options in the minor leagues. It might hurt but losing Kemp once has already provided training for Dodger fans to deal with having to see him leave. Maybe the front office is playing a sick joke on the fan base by acquiring a player most loved only to again crush their hearts and laugh at all of us for having feelings for a guy who brought us that 2011 magic. For rooting for a winning smile and that all out play style in center field. The guy who dated famous pop stars and so gracefully backtracked on his baseball town remarks like a fly ball heading for the Coors Field outfield wall. Some still have hope that Kemp is indeed in the best shape of his life and can make a difference and to them I won't poke fun, believe with all your hearts but try not to be hurt again. Trade me once, shame on you and all of that jazz.
|Cue Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me)...again...maybe|