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Matt Kemp goes 0-for-5 in first rehab game

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Matt Kemp began a minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A last night, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout and two double plays to begin his comeback from shoulder and ankle injuries that have basically sidelined him since early July.

Not exactly the results he was looking for in his return to game action, but Kemp downplayed any worries to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times and, if things go well for him at Single-A in the next two games, he could be back in the Dodgers’ lineup as soon as Sunday.

Kemp served as the designated hitter last night and Pugmire reports that he avoided running full speed on his ankle at times, but he’s slated to play center field in the next two games. And then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will start trying to figure out how to divvy up the outfield playing time among Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!