After first week back, Kemp’s timing problems linger

In his ill-remembered farewell season with the Mets, a 42-year-old Willie Mays had a .303 on-base percentage, .344 slugging percentage and adjusted OPS of 81 in 239 plate appearances with the New York Mets.

Recovering from one injury after another over the past year, 28-year-old Matt Kemp has been worse. This season with the Dodgers, Kemp has a .302 OBP, .327 slugging and 78 OPS+ in 214 plate appearances.

After returning from the disabled list last week, Kemp had a single, a double and no strikeouts in his first five trips to the plate — four of them June 25, plus one on June 27. Since then, he has gone 3 for 18 with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Dylan Hernandez wrote in the Times on June 27 about Kemp working with former hitting coach Jeff Pentland over an eight-day span. That period, according to the article, ended June 29.

“The biggest thing I noticed he was dropping his hands,” Pentland told Hernandez. “He was to a point where he was pushing and scooping the ball. Off of that comes everything else. Sometimes one thing can create five or six problems and I think that’s where he was at.”

Pentland spoke in the past tense, but with or without him, Kemp remains a work in progress.

Kemp ended a 1-for-10, six-strikeout slump with two singles June 30. Then, after Monday’s off day, he struck out in three of his first four at-bats in Coors Field on Tuesday before hitting a 400-foot out in his final appearance.

The strikeouts show how Kemp is still searching for a rhythm. He has started six games since coming off the DL, and he’s been good in two, average in two and awful in two. But the timing and mechanics issues still seem solvable.

“Kemp’s swing does currently does have significant flaws, but I highly doubt it’s anything permanent,” wrote Dodger analyst Chad Moriyama at the end of a lengthy examination in May. “This rings especially true since he made a similar adjustment a couple years ago, and I expect him and the Dodgers to eventually work through this as well.”

After that, we can get back to wondering whether Kemp’s power will return. Let Hanley Ramirez be your inspiration, and your reminder of patience.

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 p.m.

  • Anonymous

    I have no problem being patient with Kemp – especially with Puig, Hanley, and Gonzo raking and Ethier coming around as well. But when Crawford comes back full strength, I’ll also have no problem with Carl taking away some of Matt’s playing time in the OF.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Puig!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    PUIG!! again

  • Bruce Brooks

    Excellent evaluation by Chad Moriyama. The first half was just a bad dream. The Dodgers sudden signs of life have given me new hope. Thanks Jon.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Hanley!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dre!!
    Error should have been on the catcher

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Hanley!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    AJ!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    JUANITO!!!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    that ball to Juanito was on the spin cycle

    Zack!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    MELLIS!!!

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    For heaven’s sake, where did all these hitting clothes come from?

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Everybody taking extra bases! Nice to see these guys fight back.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t too long ago that if the Dodgers fell behind 4-1 early, the game seemed out of reach – not any more!

  • Jack Dawkins

    Really need Grineke to get through 6. Long road trip.

  • Anonymous

    Just checked in. Who ARE these guys?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    for those of you who doubted my post last night

    http://imgur.com/EfbHLTu

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    GONZO!!!!

  • Jack Dawkins

    Thats the slowest home run trot of the year. I think its Thursday now.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    LOL RT @jonweisman: Five guys have played shortstop for the Dodgers this year. None are hitting between .200 and .400.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    MATT! Nice swing

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dodgers PR ‏@DodgersPR 1m

    Adrian Gonzalez has homers in back-to-back games and his 19 homers vs. Colorado are the 4th most among active players #Dodgers

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    For those of you who missed it:

    Dodgers Nation ‏@DodgersNation 1m

    In case you missed it, Yasiel Puig scored from second on a groundout to first. What can’t he do? http://bit.ly/15h906I

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    DP Time

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    “Oh, those bases on balls.” — Frankie Frisch.

  • Jack Dawkins

    John asked what could start a slump…….Puig injury could…sigh.

    • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

      Gameday sez “injury delay.” Was it Puig, and did he run into a wall, or what?

      • Jack Dawkins

        Yes and yes. Kind of swung his leg backwards into a brace.

        • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

          Thanks. Fingers crossed.

          • Jack Dawkins

            He sprinted around…seems ok…think he will get a nice charley hourse out of it.

          • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

            And the video is up at Gameday. A hard bang against that upright column would probably bruise you pretty well.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Shoe!
    MEllis!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Everyone moves up 90′

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    SAC!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Mike Petriello ‏@mike_petriello 13m

    Puig hit that wall so hard it literally knocked his head off: http://imgur.com/IJDf734

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Good inning JP

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    HANLEY!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Moving on up

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    We’ll take it!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Is it too greedy to hope for our first 10 run game?

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    You know, when Juan Uribear has better hitting stats than Matt Kemp after 81 or 82 games of a season, it’s time to start worrying about Kemp. I read all of the original post and I’m trying to be optimistic about him, but boy, is he struggling.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      give him time…take 1 – 2 yrs to fully recover from shoulder surgery (probably 1.5 for an athlete)…I had 6 I should know

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    The misplayed Hanley pop up http://i.minus.com/ibTwFIm1HAQXU.gif

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    DP Time

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Seeing Jose’s wild side tonight.

  • Anonymous

    Please tell me Herrera was bunting for a hit.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      looked like he was trying but he squared too early

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    for those of you who missed the Puig play:

    http://i.minus.com/iGgLSow7J3off.gif
    Report of bruised hip…x-rays negative…thigh tightness…day to day

  • Anonymous

    Sure would like this run.

    • Anonymous

      Dang

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Nice Kenley!! 1 pitch

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Hanley and Puig, never cool down.

  • Anonymous

    Sweet!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    MATTY!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Matty! 10 runs! Double your pleasure!

  • Anonymous

    Rox announcers, right before his dinger, were saying that if Puig should go to the ASG, so should Hanley since he had a hot month as well. I agreee!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      I voted for him…

  • Anonymous

    Bison is back!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    We broke the 10 barrier YIPPEE

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela 3m

    Hanley Ramirez on the season: .412/.446/.753 (1.199 OPS, 92 PA); Yasiel Puig: .440/.466/.743 (1.209 OPS, 116 PA)

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dodgers PR ‏@DodgersPR 4m

    Estimated distance on Matt Kemp’s home run: 420 feet.

  • Anonymous

    Bison got rhythm.

  • Adam Luther

    I’m beginning to not like the unforgiving features of the outfield wall(s) in Denver.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Thank goodness for insurance homers.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Ball Game…Tied for 2nd…See you Rox’s…We’re coming for you AZ!!!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Awesome! Come on Mets come back…

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Movin’ on up.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Gnats lose also

    • Anonymous

      In extras LOL – love seeing that.

  • http://marioluevanos.com Mario Luevanos

    Good win.

  • foul tip

    Walk 9 and still win. That won’t happen often. Greinke had 7 of them.

    • Anonymous

      Extremely rare – especially considering Dodgers walked the leadoff hitter 5 out of 9 innings and that free pass ended up coming around to score 4 out of the 5 times. Only with an offense on FIRE like the Dodgers are will you get away with that.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      are team offense can now handle the errors and walks

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Met’s score a run to make it 5-3, Wright just doubled to put another RISP.

  • Anonymous

    That easy going swing on Kemp’s HR looked like the Kemp of old

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Jon goes over to MSTI and makes a comment and immediately gets 15 likes…what’s up with that ^_^

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Night all another good win in the long list of many to come this year…Hanley back Friday…no looking back now….offense too impressive

  • Anonymous

    Just got back from Coors, watching Greinke tonight was like a Ted Lilly start. Glad to hear that Puig appears to be not seriously hurt. Kenley looked rusty, but Hanley’s homer went out almost as fast as Puig’s the night before. Gnice to see the Gnats sink steadily in the West, though.

    Kemp’s homer was a welcome sight but, in my opinion, he didn’t really crush it – it was a Coors homer.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      it was his nice swing in at least two at-bats that have me feeling better

  • foul tip

    OK, even it’s happened more than once, seeing this in Dodger minor league stats still catches my eye–

    Pedro Guerrero 14 | 3B Status: Active

    If the team ever has a minor league pitcher named Koufax, no telling how I’ll react.

    Or a player named Colletti.

  • Anonymous

    James Loney goes 2 for 4 yesterday and is STILL above .300 – currently .318. In all the years he was a fixture at 1st with the Dodgers, did he ever hit above .300 for a full half-season?

    • Anonymous

      In Loney’s second ML season he came up on June 10, 2007 after hitting 279 at AAA Las Vegas (the previous year he hit 380 at AAA). Loney hit 331 for the season, his lowest BA after any game past June 12 was 301 on August 28. In 2008, Loney was over 300 on 8 of the first 9 days in July but finished at 280. In 2010, Loney was over 300 on almost every day in July through the 24th finished the month at 289 and the year at 267.

  • foul tip

    OK. Test time. Choose T or F on these 2 quotes RE the new NYY SS.

    “I had too many things in my head at the beginning of the season, outside baseball,” Cruz said. “I’m ready to go now.”

    “We’ve had a variety, right?” Girardi said. “It’s not what you predict when you go into a year, but sometimes you’ve got to make do.”

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130703&content_id=52577698&notebook_id=52577326&vkey=notebook_nyy&c_id=nyy

    Game 1 result…..0 for 3, down to .124. I wish him well, but really…

    • Anonymous

      He also committed 1 Error.

    • Anonymous

      I’m glad he’s still playing, though also glad it’s for another team. I wish him well. Looks like Hiroki is on the DL now – still miss that guy!

  • Anonymous

    Happy 4th, everybody. And go Dodgers!

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT