Matt Kemp said this one was worse than the original injury, and he was placed back on the disabled list Thursday just two days after returning from a strained left hamstring.
Kemp aggravated the injury running the bases in Wednesday’s game and soon afterwards snapped a bat over his thigh in frustration.
“He has a little bit of swelling in the same area, as well as a new strain in a higher part of that hamstring,” said trainer Sue Falsone.
Falsone added that Kemp will be sidelined at least four weeks. Fortunately, the Dodgers got off to such a strong start that they should be able to withstand the absence. Even though they’ve lost three games in a row, they’re still 32-18 on the season, putting them 5 1/2 games up on the Giants in the NL West.
Expect to see a lot more Tony Gwynn Jr. while Kemp is out. Gwynn, who is hitting .279/.318/.344 on the season, will likely lead off against right-handers. Elian Herrera could make some starts in center against lefties, with the newly recalled Alex Castellanos playing second base.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.