UPDATE: The Dodgers just announced that Kemp left the game with a right knee contusion and was taken for precautionary X-rays on his jaw. He doesn’t have any concussion symptoms, so it sounds like he won’t have to miss much time.
9:54 PM: Matt Kemp crashed into the center field fence at Coors Field last night in the eighth inning, but managed to stay in the game. He wasn’t as fortunate tonight.
Kemp was trying to track down a fly ball off the bat of Josh Rutledge in the bottom of the first inning tonight when he ran full-speed into the center field fence. You can watch video of the play here.
Kemp was on the ground for several moments while being examined by team trainers, but he eventually got to his feet and convinced all involved that he was OK to stay in the game. The ball found him with the very next batter though, as Jordan Pacheco hit a bloop to center field which caused Kemp to make a diving attempt. He came up empty-handed and appeared to be flexing his neck and jaw when he got back up. He was removed from the game after the next batter.
Kemp has already served two stints on the disabled list this year with hamstring injuries. The Dodgers have added plenty of reinforcements over the past month, but the road to a potential postseason berth would be a lot tougher if he requires another extended absence.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.