Matt Kemp to begin minor league rehab assignment Tuesday

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The Dodgers were dead-last in the majors last month with a .212 batting average, a .571 OPS and 88 runs scored, but help is on the way.

Matt Kemp told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times a short while ago that he remains on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Kemp has been sidelined for a little over a month after aggravating a left hamstring strain. He is slated to play in rehab games throughout the week and hopes to return when the Dodgers begin the second half of the season next Friday against the Padres. While he will skip the All-Star Game, he plans to compete for the National League in the Home Run Derby.

Kemp, 27, is batting .355/.444/.719 with 12 home runs, 28 RBI and a 1.163 OPS in 36 games this season. The Dodgers went 11-17 in June and will enter play this evening at 44-36, one game behind the Giants in the National League West.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.