Harold Reynolds said on MLB Network on this morning that Matt Kemp lost 41 pounds during the offseason. Reynolds added that Kemp was pushing to lose 50 pounds. Kemp showed up at Dodgers camp today and people are saying he’s noticeably thinner.
In other news, Matt Kemp had 40-50 pounds to lose. I mean, I’ve watched him play a lot in the past couple of years and he is a beefier dude than he was back in his MVP candidate days, but 40-50 pounds is . . . alot.
Whatever it takes, I suppose. He ended up back on the Dodgers in a mutual salary dump situation involving Adrian Gonzalez and the Braves, so it’s not like the Dodgers need to play him. Indeed, they could simply release him, pay him and be no worse off. But if Kemp is in shape and does show some improvement on defense and at the plate, it’s not crazy to think that he could stay with the club as a backup outfielder. Wouldn’t bet the farm on it or anything, but stranger things have happened.
And for what it’s worth, I’m not going to put this in the Best Shape of His Life category. A judgment call, mostly, in that it didn’t seem calculated to improve Kemp’s stock as opposed to simply being an observation. BSOHL usually comes with some sort of propaganda angle. This seems more like a “dang, Kemp’s lost some weight” thing.
UPDATE: Showing up to camp in “great shape” is not new for Kemp, our Matthew Pouliot reminds us. This story was written about Kemp allegedly being in great shape . . . a year ago.