Matt Kemp on bench as Dodgers return to Philadelphia

It’s bugging me that Scott Podsednik is playing today and Matt Kemp is not. Joe Torre told reporters today that Kemp is “reaching — he has no patience at the plate.” Maybe so, but what can you say of Podsednik, whose offense  and defense have been no better?

There’s no denying that Kemp has had his good days and bad days this season, but his good days are worth holding out for. Unless there’s yet another hidden disciplinary reason for Kemp’s benching, this is the time to go all-in with him. Believe in your best players.

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Torre also told reporters today that Rafael Furcal is available to pinch-hit today, with an eye toward easing him back into the lineup. There are no plans to place him on the disabled list.

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Ronald Belisario is officially back on the team. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details.

… Throughout an interview that lasted about seven minutes, Belisario offered little in the way of additional insight.

Asked if he was in the U.S. throughout his absence — his home is in Venezuela — he declined to answer. Asked if there was any aspect of the situation that might result either in another absence later this season or a late arrival to spring training for the third consecutive year, Belisario said he didn’t think so.

“I think I’ll be here for the rest of the season,” he said. “I think everything will be all right for next year.”

Belisario said he was throwing throughout his absence and that he felt normal during a two-game rehabilitation stint at high Class A Inland Empire over the weekend.

Belisario said he didn’t think he would formally address his teammates about his absence or the reason for it. He did say he recognized that the Dodgers have missed him in their bullpen — the team was 12-17 while he was gone — and that he regretted that.

“[But] I feel like things happen for a reason,” Belisario said. “Everything that happened happened. I can’t get too worried about it. I just have to keep moving forward.”

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  • David Young of True Blue L.A. looked at the Dodgers’ East Coast struggles.
  • Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven has pictures from Sandy Koufax’s high school yearbook.
  • USC fired former Dodger catcher Chad Kreuter as its head baseball coach Monday.
  • Longtime Bronx Banter blogger and former Baseball Toaster colleague Cliff Corcoran has taken a job with YESnetwork.com. Best of luck, Cliff.
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