Despite some rather fancy catches in the early portion of his career, Matt Kemp hasn’t exactly been what you’d call a premier center fielder defensively.
Yes, he does hold two gold gloves to his name but his defense has slipped and the Dodgers, attempting to send a message, decided to bench the former near National League MVP for the third consecutive game on Sunday afternoon.
Kemp, after two seasons riddled with injury, appears to be relatively healthy and is producing offensively after a slow start. That makes his stapling to the pine even more odd, but after multiple poor routes and a woeful .949 fielding percentage the Dodgers have apparently had enough.
In fact, Los Angeles has become so worried about Kemp’s poor center field defense they’ve decided they will be giving the two-time All-Star more time in left field moving forward.
The Dodgers came into the season facing an outfield crunch and looked to be in the market of trading either Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier, however, the albatross contracts of both players all but squashed such an idea.
Kemp has played 11 games in left field during his 9-year career, so the position isn’t completely forign to him though it’s a clear indication the team has tired of his sub-par defense in center.
Andre Ethier will take Kemp’s place in center field on Sunday.