From J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News comes word that Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp finished 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI single Sunday in his first rehab game at Triple-A Albuquerque. He struck out in his other at-bat.
Kemp is expected to play one final minor league rehab game Monday before rejoining the Dodgers’ starting lineup when first eligible on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old center fielder has made a swift but controlled recovery from a strained left hamstring.
He’ll return to a stellar .359/.446/.726 batting line, 12 home runs, five doubles, two stolen bases and 28 RBI.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.