News and notes from Don Mattingly’s media session before the first game of a four-game set between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants on Thursday night:
- Outfielder Matt Kemp did running drills and some outfield work again on Thursday, as he continues getting back into playing shape. Last week, Kemp’s rehab was cut back a bit after he experiences some hamstring soreness. Mattingly couldn’t quite give a timetable to expect his return to the Dodgers’ lineup, but it seems as if the team still intends on #27 being a factor sometime in the two and a half weeks between now and the end of the regular season.
- Pitcher Chris Capuano, who left last Friday’s outing in Cincinnati with what was called a ‘minor groin strain’, is also on the rehab track and Mattingly says the team expects the lefty back sometime soon. When asked if Capuano would be ready by Sunday (which currently lists Edinson Volquez as the Dodgers’ starter), Mattingly said “no”, meaning that Volquez will indeed make the start against San Francisco.
- Since L.A.’s magic number to clinch the National League West is currently six games, the Dodgers could feasibly celebrate a division title on the field this weekend. Mattingly, though, said that there would not be any added significance or special feeling associated with clinching the West during a series against the rival Giants.
- Speaking of that magic number, since it is six games, the Dodgers could clinch on Sunday – provided they win the first three games of this series and the Arizona Diamondbacks drop two games this weekend at home against the Colorado Rockies. Should the cards not align in that manner, L.A. will look to clinch on the road next week.
In non-Mattingly media session-related topics, ESPN insider Pedro Gomez told Pros2Preps that Yasiel Puig could be the Dodgers’ ‘downfall’ in the playoffs. A key phrase included in the article is “Puig could be an Achilles because he does play so out of control”. Read the whole piece here, it’s worth consideration even if it’s speculative.