Carl Crawford suffered an ugly left ankle sprain Tuesday while chasing after a ball, so the Dodgers are rolling with Matt Kemp in left field in their series finale Wednesday night against the visiting Reds.
Kemp, who had been on the bench for five straight games, last played left field as a rookie in 2006.
“It’s a little different, but I’m just excited to be able to get back out there,” Kemp told Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA on Wednesday evening. “I think I’m still a pretty good athlete. I think I’ll be OK.”
Kemp has struggled defensively in his return from ankle surgery, which is why the Dodgers have been featuring Andre Ethier as their regular center fielder.
Kemp, 29, is batting .262/.325/.450 with five home runs and five stolen bases in 43 games this season.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.