For the first time in over a month, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp played competitive baseball on Tuesday night, beginning his minor league rehab assignment with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Kemp has been on the disabled list since May 31 with a strained left hamstring and has missed 46 of the last 48 games for the Dodgers.
"The guys, they’ve been really cool and it’s just great to be down here with them," Kemp told Jim Alexander of the Press Enterprise. "If they need anything, any advice on how to get to the big leagues, I’m here for them, just like the big leaguers were there for me when I was in the (minors)."
Kemp went 2-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout, and a run scored on Tuesday night, and will continue to rehab with the Quakes through Friday as they battle the Inland Empire 66ers in nearby San Bernardino. The Quakes travel to San Jose for the weekend, so there is a chance Kemp could continue his rehab Saturday and Sunday in New Mexico with Triple A Albuquerque.
Kemp was voted into the All-Star Game but will not play. On Tuesday, Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves was named by manager Tony La Russa to replace Kemp on the All-Star roster. Kemp will, however, take part in the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Rancho Cucamonga sold out on Tuesday night as Kemp wasn't the only Dodger playing for the Quakes. Relief pitcher Javy Guerra started and pitched one inning, striking out one, in his second rehab game, and could be activated as early as Thursday. Second baseman Mark Ellis went 2-for-4 in his fourth rehab game with the Quakes and could be activated as soon as Wednesday.
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