Matt Kemp is out of the Dodgers lineup again today for the second straight game, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.â†µ
On one hand, the benching is understandable, as Kemp is mired in a one-for-20 slump, and struck out all four times on Sunday. However, the alternatives are Scott Podsednik and Jay Gibbons. I don’t care what Kemp is hitting; he needs to be in the lineup over either of guys. Podsednik as a Dodger is hitting all of .220, with a .291 on-base percentage and .260 slugging percentage in 12 games, and he has played every inning since arriving to the club.â†µ
Kemp was benched earlier this season by Joe Torre, and was only reinserted into the lineup after Kemp came to Torre, and not the other way around. Last season, Torre benched Orlando Hudson down the stretch and never talked to him about it, either. For having a reputation for being such a great communicator, Torre sure doesn’t seem to talk to his players very much.â†µ
We don’t know the whole story, either. Kemp was last benched for yelling at bench coach Bob Schaefer. If something similar happened this time, it hasn’t yet been reported. But from a purely baseball standpoint, Matt Kemp needs to be in the Dodgers lineup, period.