Padres @ Dodgers May 22, 2015: Matt Kemp Is Back

So over the last month, 182 hitters have had enough plate appearances to be considered “qualified.”

Padres
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
1B
Solarte
CF
Pederson
2B
Spangenberg
SS
Rollins
RF
Kemp
2B
Kendrick
LF
Upton
1B
Gonzalez
C
Norris
C
Grandal
CF
Venable
3B
Turner
3B
Middlebrooks
RF
Ethier
SS
Barmes
LF
Van Slyke
P
Cashner (R)
P
Greinke (R)

One of them, Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado, has been unfathomably bad, with a .159/.195/.195 line that’s good for a wRC+ of 3. 3! But of course, he’s not supposed to be playing every day. He’s a backup. He’s been pushed into a regular role only because Jonathan Lucroy is injured. The next-worst hitter over the last month? Matt Kemp. It’s hard to talk around a .200/.227/.248 (34 wRC+) line.

Now, obviously, we’re only talking about a few weeks of play, and we’ve already taken a look back at the Kemp trade, and it’s not like the Dodgers haven’t had a terrible time of hitting themselves over the last week. It’s just surprising to see Kemp struggling so badly, because a huge part of the appeal in this trade for the Padres was in 2015. Even those who criticized the deal from the Dodger perspective knew that the back end of Kemp’s remaining contract could be ugly, but since he finished 2014 so well, the idea was that you’d reap some immediate benefits. That hasn’t happened, and it’s been a big problem for San Diego.

Anyway, the Dodgers could use some offense of their own, and it’s not going to come from Yasiel Puig any time soon, apparently…

…or Carl Crawford:

So if you were worried about how to find at-bats for Alex Guerrero or Andre Ethier or Scott Van Slyke, well, some problems aren’t problems. Some problems are problems, though. Being shut out in three straight games, that counts. I personally guarantee the Dodgers will score a run tonight.

In other, far more minor news, the Dodgers have acquired lefty Eric Surkamp, and you know how you know a move isn’t a big deal? When it’s buried at the bottom of a game thread rather than being given a post to itself.

Surkamp was a 2008 draft pick of the Giants and got into seven games for them before being picked up by the White Sox off waivers following 2013. He got into 35 games as a reliever last year, but was DFA’d in April and was then outrighted off the 40-man. He won’t require a 40-man spot with the Dodgers, so presumably he’s headed to Triple-A; even more presumably, we’ll never talk about him again.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.