Two weeks of the season down, two weeks of Matt Kemp taking player of the week honors in the NL. He also won the last player of the week award last season, so it’s three straight for him. The kid is pretty good, no?
Kemp won the award again for a week in which he went 12-for-22, hit four home runs and had 26 total bases, helping lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball. So far this season Kemp is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers, which is pretty nuts, even for a small as heck sample size.
In the AL, the award went to Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins. In six games last week, Willingham batted .455 (10-for-22) with a double, three home runs, four RBI, three walks and six runs. On the season he’s hitting .419/.514/.871, leading the league in the latter two categories.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.
Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.
At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.
The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.
Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.
Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.
Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.