Per the Dodger Twitter account, outfielder Matt Kemp will begin his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes tomorrow. Kemp has been sidelined since May 30 with a strained right hamstring. He had struggled through his first two months, posting a .640 OPS in 210 plate appearances before winding up on the shelf, so perhaps the time off will allow him to start his season anew.
Kemp has been just one in a long line of Dodgers to wind up in the infirmary. Andre Ethier, who has been playing center field as of late, was not in tonight’s lineup either due to knee soreness, but the team’s hope is that eventually the outfield will include Kemp, Ethier, and Yasiel Puig. The NL West is anything but a sure thing and the Dodgers, only 8.5 games out of first place, can still make it interesting.
Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.
Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.
Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.
Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:
“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”