Monday, September 08, 2008

Worrying About Martin and Kemp

...but at least Kemp's levitational skills are still intact.

Lost in the Dodgers' recent Mannymania and Ethieriffic batting performances have been the quiet slumps of Russell Martin and Matt Kemp. In the Dodgers' 19 games since August 19, the two have virtually disappeared offensively:

Martin 68 8 14 2 0 1 6 8 .206 .289 .279
Kemp 74 8 15 6 0 1 6 5 .203 .250 .324

Add to these numbers Martin's belated burden of batting leadoff as well as his declining defensive output, and Kemp's accompanying drop in the batting order, and it makes you wonder if Joe Torre has a plan for these two during the stretch run.

Clearly Martin needs rest, but the team has only two off-days left in September. Torre could assign Danny Ardoin to a certain starter; Ardoin has been the starting catcher for Clayton Kershaw five times and Hiroki Kuroda three times. (And the Dodgers went 2-6 in those games. Call it Grady's Dilemma.)

As for Kemp, it seems a stint batting in front of Manny is the cure for any ailing bat—but does Torre dare mess with the chemistry of the Dodgers' suddenly potent offense?

Yesterday we wrote the Dodgers are playing well-rounded baseball right now. That still holds, but it would be nice if Martin and Kemp could get in on the act.

photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images


Mike Scioscia's tragic illness said...

I like to think that just means that when Andre Ethier stops playing like Jesus on steroids, Kemp will be ready to heat up.

Not Martin, though. Torre has ruined his career.

Eric Karros said...

The photo looks more like Kali than Jesus

QuadSevens said...

The guys over at Big League Stew would hate that picture. But it looks great!