Matt Kemp injury: Dodgers cautious with OF as postseason approaches

Lisa Blumenfeld

Kemp has dealt with a variety of injuries this season, leading the Dodgers to be extraordinarily cautious with him.

After scratching outfielder Matt Kemp from the lineup Saturday, Dodgers' Manager Don Mattingly said the team is just being careful with their oft-injured star as they head into the postseason, reports SB Nation's own Eric Stephen of True Blue LA.

"I feel okay with it. He took BP. Just as he went to get loose for the game he was having trouble getting loose. I feel like we're being a little cautious," Mattingly told reporters.

Kemp began to feel irritation in his ankle prior to the game. It was an ankle sprain that caused his most recent DL stint and kept him out for 52 games. He has also suffered from shoulder and hamstring injuries this season.

Since being activated on Sept. 16, Kemp has started nine of the Dodgers' 12 games. He saw playing time in the late innings in two other games.

Kemp will not start on Sunday in the Dodgers final regular-season game. The team believes that he has seen enough playing time to be ready for the postseason. Kemp won't be at full strength, however.

"If he's not ready by now, he's not going to be. I wouldn't think there would be any reason to push him back out there [Sunday]," Mattingly said. "I don't think he's running at full speed. We're not going to get the 40 [stolen bases] type of guy. It's just not there at this point. We're not going to be that, but he's still pretty good. He's shown he can do a lot of things."

Kemp has overall had a down-year at the plate, but has been much better since his return to the lineup two weeks ago. Over 39 plate appearances in September, he has hit .314 with an .870 OPS.

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