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Matt Kemp has no issues with shoulder in spring debut

Mar 2, 2013, 8:28 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kemp looks on as he takes the practice field during MLB Cactus League spring training workouts at the team's facility in Glendale Reuters

The high-priced Dodgers are going all in to make it back to the postseason, but they likely won’t get very far if Matt Kemp isn’t back to 100 percent following offseason surgery on his left shoulder. However, he passed his first test yesterday.

Kemp made his Cactus League debut as the DH against the Angels and went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout. He told Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times that swinging a bat in a game again was “weird,” but the good news is that he didn’t have any issues with his shoulder.

“It will get better and better as the at-bats go,” he said. “I fouled off a changeup that [Freddy] Garcia threw me, and last year that would have left my shoulder hurting a little bit and that didn’t hurt. So those are really good signs that my shoulder is stronger and I’m responding well to the rehab and everything I’ve done throughout the off-season to get it better.”

Kemp is expected to DH again on Sunday as the Dodgers continue to ease him into action, but it shouldn’t be long before he’s ready to play center field. The expectation is that he should be ready for Opening Day.

Kemp, 28, batted .303/.367/.538 with 23 home runs, 69 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .906 OPS in 106 games last year.

  1. historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Yea!!!!!

  2. sidelineshot - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Wait … Kemp is out there after a shoulder procedure and Crawford is still crying about his elbow?

  3. stercuilus65 - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    KEMVP!

  4. gloccamorra - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Minor correction: he played a split squad game against the Padres at the Dodgers’ Spring Training park at Camelback Ranch. The other Dodgers squad played the Angels at Tempe.

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