Tag Archives: Matt Kemp

A Follow-Up on Average/OBP/SLG Triple Crown and on Matt Kemp staying in LA

Here’s this post from last year, and I feel I should follow up on it a bit.

Josh Hamilton got seriously close last year, but Miguel Cabrera had him beat on OBP by .009. Kemp isn’t particularly close on the AOS triple crown, but who cares. He’s very close to the traditional triple crown and a 40/40 season with only a handful of games to go.

Kemp also had this to say on ESPN 710:

“[We] haven’t started talks,” the MVP candidate told 710 ESPN, “but I plan on being with Dodgers rest of my career.”

Pardon my language, but Goddamn it’s good to hear that.

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Congrats to Matt Kemp on 30/30!

TrueBlueLA has a pretty darn good post (here) on how fast Matt Kemp got there and the prospects of him getting to 40/40, which are surprisingly not too bad.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a lot of fun going to the ballpark to watch Kemp play this year.

Kemp is currently leading the National League in WAR at 7.7 and is only .2 behind Jose Bautista (JOEY BATS!!) for the lead in all of baseball.  That difference can be  within the margin of error, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Ryan Braun is second in the NL with a 6.5 WAR, a full win behind Kemp.  Knowing the voters, though, and how Braun’s team is currently in the playoff hunt, I wouldn’t be surprised if Braun won it.

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We’re gonna want to remember this one for a while.

Matt Kemp blasted a shot OUT of Coors Field on Saturday. Link is here.

Dylan O. Hernandez on Twitter:

Heard that Kemp’s HR ball last night hit the concourse and one-hopped out of the stadium. Landed in the parking lot.

And the distance it would have gone approximately, thanks to Google Earth:

Yes, 490 feet is approximately how far it went. Even in a bad season, it’s pretty good to be a Dodger fan.

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A Brief Conversation About Hitting and Home Runs with Matt Kemp

Kemp is a tough nut to crack. He’s often stand-offish with the press and is the brunt of criticism, sometimes undeservedly, but he is who he is and he’s a fantastic baseball player.

So when I tried to talk to him about home runs and fastballs, he didn’t give me a whole lot, but he gave me a few things.

Without further ado:

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Trading Matt Kemp = 5 Years of Mediocrity

Dodgers designated Charlie Haeger for assignment today. Jon Link was called up. Link has shown he’s decent, or at least worth a shot over Haeger from the bullpen, so this doesn’t change a whole lot. Haeger was easily the worst Dodger pitcher of the season, but the Dodgers’ turns with replacement players have been not fun.

Carlos Monasterios is still on the DL, but the good news is Chad Billingsley should return on Monday, according to Rotoworld.

Ken Rosenthal today suggested the Dodgers trade Matt Kemp to the Mariners for Cliff Lee, completely glossing over the fact that the Dodgers’ pitching problems are almost solely because of the bullpen. Not that trading for Lee wouldn’t be awesome, but the Dodgers would need to fill Kemp’s offensive hole and a 110 OPS+ from centerfield is pretty dang good. Right now, it’s about 8th best from an everyday CF starter this year, and the two in front of him don’t look sustainable.

Talent ebbs and flows, that’s just something you have to deal with. Rosenthal, who played coy this off-season before predicting the Halladay-to-the-Phillies and ensuing Lee-to-the-Mariners trades, or his intel in the Dodgers organization seem(s) to believe the Dodgers won’t be playing for anything past 2010. There’s no replacement in the organization for Kemp.

It’s silly that the Dodgers would trade away such a cheap solution (and sell-low at that) in shallow-pocket times with no one coming up in the future.

Here’s the Dodgers’ money obligations through 2015. A pretty cursory glance says the Dodgers are gonna have a good chance to get back into the division in 2012. Andre Ethier, Kemp, Russell Martin, Billingsley, Loney and Kuo will be in their final year of arbitration and Clayton Kershaw and Blake DeWitt will be in their first year. So that’s five position players, two starting pitchers and one awesome reliever who will still be playing together by that point. The rest will be filled in as the off-seasons unfold. If the Dodgers don’t sign Lee or another non-filler rotation arm in the 2011 off-season, there’s plenty more where that comes from in the 2012 off-season.

Here‘s free agent pitchers at the end of this season. And here‘s free agents at the end of the 2011 season. A front end of the rotation starter won’t be hard to pick up, especially considering the Dodgers’ ownership divorce woes should be over before the start of the 2011 season AND the Dodgers will lose $35 million at the end of the 2010 season. A good portion of that money will go to arbitration, but not all of it.

The one thing that’d be very, very hard to replace is a cost-controlled potential 6-win starting centerfielder with a long, healthy rapsheet. You can sign Cliff Lee in the off-season, but you can’t sign Kemp. Kemp’s defense may never be great, but his bat puts him in exclusive territory. And worst case scenario, move him to right field next season, move Ethier to left and sign a good defensive centerfielder. Carl Crawford will be available. Or Colletti can trade an outfielder like Jerry Sands, who was promoted to AA this past week, or Kyle Russell to a team with a decent above-average defensive CF, like the Red Sox for Mike Cameron.

Without Kemp, the future looks muck bleaker for the Dodgers. No Kemp means no good third outfield bat. It means an at-best outfield replacement and while Cliff Lee is very, very good, it still doesn’t address the bullpen problems. It actually creates a line-up problem. (Dear Matt Kemp, please understand that everyone in this city thinks you’re the poop. Love, Los Angeles Dodger Fans).

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LA Times Poll: Who the Hell is Voting Angels Fans as the Best Fans?

LA Times has a poll up about who LA thinks has better fans, the Angels or the Dodgers. See it here. I don’t know how or why, but the Angels are winning it, which is just bizarre.

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Matt Kemp had a pretty bad defensive performance last night. His UZR/150 is hovering at -35 and while an outfielder has fewer opportunities to field (and thus a better chance at skewed numbers), this isn’t pretty. No way is he a -35 player, but it’s been bad this year and the team’s been fortunate enough to still be in the hunt for the NL West despite the bad run differential. Some players are underperforming and I’m hoping this evens out the run differential before the team starts to really pay for it.

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Dodger Trade Rumors Popping Up Now

From MLB Trade Rumors:

  • Speaking of Lee, Seattle is telling clubs that they want young hitters in return for the ace. It’s a desire that could be a hurdle for several interested clubs. The Mets, for example, wouldn’t part with Ike Davis in order to land the hurler on a rental. Meanwhile, the Dodgers wouldn’t want to give up Matt Kemp or James Loney.
  • Rosenthal adds that the Dodgers may have a hard time landing the elite starter that they seek. The Astros are looking for financial relief and top prospects in return for Roy Oswalt. Pulling off a deal for Dan Haren of the Diamondbacks could prove to be difficult as Arizona likely doesn’t want to trade him within the division.

Just before that, Rosenthal said the Twins could be major players in the Lee sweepstakes. Trading for Dan Haren is intriguing. Mets sound like the smartest landing spot for Lee, they’ve been more free-wheeling in regards to giving up prospects and have the ones most prepared for the majors in Ike Davis. They could just as easily go for Haren, though, which would be awesome since CitiField is good for flyball pitchers and Haren’s been burned all season on the HR/FB ratio.

I guess Oswalt just won’t go anywhere.

As we’re nearing the deadline, it looks like the Dodgers are less and less likely to make a deal for a top-tier starter. The biggest move the Dodgers make sounds most likely to be for another relief pitcher, which wouldn’t be bad–the bullpen does need help.

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