Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Matt Kemp's rough May, bum hamstring

by Tim Heaney on May 14, 2012 @ 12:42:12 PDT


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Matt Kemp's historic April showers (.417-12-25) have been followed by May floundering (.225-0-3). "Should've sold high!" say knee-jerk hindsight thinkers. He was, of course, expected to suffer some form of correction even if he remained elite; this was just a bit more drastic than expected.

Uh, oh: Now you can add a few bouts of a tight left hamstring that marred his last two weekends and will require a Monday MRI. Results should be released in the next few days. A disabled list stint is possible.

The Los Angeles Dodgers masher says he'll only miss a few days, but prepare for more. Bobby Abreu has been in the lineup frequently since joining the Blue, and especially with Juan Rivera (popped tendon on back of left leg) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (strained hamstring) also sidelined, that'd continue with an extended Kemp absence. Count on run production before power, but Abreu will remain useful as low-end AB filler in deep mixed leagues.

Tony Gwynn Jr. would presumably slide back into center field and solidify his low-end NL-only value; besides one or two swipes per week, don't expect much, even if he hits toward the top of the card. Scott Van Slyke has a bit more upside and would be a more intriguing single-universe addition, though he might not play as much.

If Kemp lands on the DL, LA might summon Elian Herrera, the leadoff hitter for Triple-A Albuquerque. His presence would give Don Mattingly a possible alternative for the speedy but struggling Dee Gordon, who's seemingly in some danger of losing the top lineup slot. Safe to say the fallout is a bit fluid.

As for Kemp, it's safe to think the nagging hammy was contributing to his issues. If he fights to play through the pain, it could extend his theft deprivation (just two all year) and plate woes - or worse, jeopardize his health for a longer period. The first-place Dodgers should be inclined to nip this in the bud.

On the bright side, to go along with carrying over his titanic tater tattooing, his strike-zone judgment and execution have improved, removing some of the BA drop-off risk he held coming into the year.

Regardless of his clip correction, he's quite good. His owners hope the freakish athlete is better than that when it comes to healing.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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