Matt Kemp leaves game after aggravating hamstring strain

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Matt Kemp may be headed back to the 15-day DL.

According to David Vessagh, Dodgers reporter for sports radio station 570 AM in Los Angeles, the 27-year-old center fielder was lifted from Wednesday night’s game against the Brewers after appearing to aggravate his left hamstring strain while scoring from first base on a first-inning Andre Ethier double.

Kemp hobbled into the dugout, then snapped a bat over his thigh in frustration before heading down to the clubhouse steps and into the trainer’s room.

It seems likely that he’ll be placed back on the disabled list, and for longer than two weeks this time. Kemp is hitting .355/.444/.719 with 12 home runs, 28 RBI and two stolen bases in 36 games played this season.

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UPDATE, 11:34 PM: Kemp will get an MRI on Thursday, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”