Matt Kemp’s consecutive games streak ended at 399 on Monday night, and worse news followed after the game, as the 2011 NL MVP runner-up was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
It’s just Kemp’s second career trip to the DL. The first came due to a shoulder injury in April 2007.
Kemp’s absence will make Tony Gwynn Jr. the Dodgers’ primary center fielder for a couple of weeks, though manager Don Mattingly indicated that Andre Ethier would likely make a couple of starts there. Ethier would probably play center against left-handers, allowing Scott Van Slyke to get some starts over Gwynn.
Jerry Sands is the replacement for Kemp on the roster. He was off to a slow start at Triple-A Albuquerque before suddenly going 6-for-7 with three homers and two walks the last two days. He’s primarily a left fielder, but the Dodgers could use him at first base over James Loney versus southpaws.
The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.
It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.
Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.
6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.