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Matt Kemp gets first start in left field since 2006

May 28, 2014, 7:24 PM EST

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Carl Crawford suffered an ugly left ankle sprain Tuesday while chasing after a ball, so the Dodgers are rolling with Matt Kemp in left field in their series finale Wednesday night against the visiting Reds.

Kemp, who had been on the bench for five straight games, last played left field as a rookie in 2006.

“It’s a little different, but I’m just excited to be able to get back out there,” Kemp told Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA on Wednesday evening. “I think I’m still a pretty good athlete. I think I’ll be OK.”

Kemp has struggled defensively in his return from ankle surgery, which is why the Dodgers have been featuring Andre Ethier as their regular center fielder.

Kemp, 29, is batting .262/.325/.450 with five home runs and five stolen bases in 43 games this season.

  1. jackfindlay88 - May 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Unfortunately, Kemp should have been in left from the beginning. It’s sad to say, but he just doesn’t have the mental focus to be an elite player. The injury to his ankle after coming off the DL is utterly unforgivable. He’s got the skills, just not the brain. GO DODGER BLUE

    • stercuilus65 - May 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      Drivel.

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