The Braves want Matt Kemp to lose some weight

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Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that the Braves are likely to encourage outfielder Matt Kemp to participate in an offseason workout program in order to lose weight. Kemp, who is officially listed at 215 pounds, said he had already planned to shed some pounds.

The Braves acquired Kemp from the Padres on July 30, sending troubled outfielder Hector Olivera to San Diego in return. In 39 plate appearances as a Brave, Kemp is hitting a meager .206 with three extra-base hits. He had smacked 23 home runs with 69 RBI and a .774 OPS in 431 PA with the Padres.

It’s not known yet exactly how the Braves plan to use Kemp next season. Heyman suggests he could be used full-time or in a platoon. Kemp has a severe platoon split this season, putting up a .694 OPS against right-handers and a 1.006 OPS against lefties.

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.