Don Mattingly will concede that Matt Kemp is close to playing in his first spring training game, but the Dodgers' manager is reluctant to say exactly when that game will be. Kemp faced live pitching each of the last two days in practice, and hasn't had any setbacks in his recovery from surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. "We're getting close to Matt playing," Mattingly said after the Dodgers beat the Angels 10-8. "We don't necessarily have to DH him - that's me wanting to get him in a game that way - but once he's ready to go he's able to play in the field." He didn't rule out Kemp playing today in a split-squad game against the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch, but as of Thursday morning Kemp's name still wasn't written into a lineup on Mattingly's dry-erase board. "He's passing all the tests," Mattingly said of Kemp. "Carl (Crawford) is marching that same direction, then he hit a little stall. For me to say `yes' and then (Kemp) goes back, to me it's a setback. I don't want to have necessarily setbacks. We're putting artificial dates on it, that's the problem. Guys coming off injuries, stuff kind of gets good one day, next thing you know you have a little bad." Crawford's timetable was moved back after his scheduled hitting session against live pitching Thursday was cancelled. "Carl's got a little bit of forearm tightness," Mattingly said. "We don't know if he threw too much, or too hard, the other day but (head athletic trainer) Sue (Falsone) tells me … it's not uncommon to be going through this, little things here and there. We'll be cautious with Carl. We still look at it that we've got plenty of time before Opening Day. "That's a little bit of a - I don't know if it's a step back or a pause for Carl, but Matt continues on."
Dodgers outfielder Kemp close to returning, but Crawford isn't
L.A. Daily News | Mar 1