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Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers grimaces as he flies out in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on September 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
The Dodgers announced Saturday that will sit out slugger Matt Kemp until Tuesday to rest and examine the star's injured his shoulder. He is scheduled for an M.R.I. on Saturday.
"I appreciate him wanting to play, wanting to be tough and go out there, but at some point you've got to be honest and say either I can help the team or I can't help the team," Dodger manager Don Mattingly told ESPN LA. "If it's hurting him to swing the bat and he's not able to do some things, it doesn't do us any good for him to be out there."
Dodger trainer Sue Falsone told L.A. Times Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck that Kemp would likely also have a cortisone injection.
Last year's N.L. M.V.P. runner-up has slumped noticeably since crashing into the center field wall of Denver's Coors Field on August 28.
Although the five-tool outfielder is batting .315 with 18 home runs over 85 games this year, he has only 3 hits out of the last 30 plate appearances since he bashed his shoulder two weeks ago.
The slump couldn't be coming at a worse time as the Dodgers are currently playing a weekend series against the division-leading San Francisco Giants. After last night's loss the Dodgers fell behind their longtime rivals 5 1/2 games.
"If the Giants win half of their remaining 24 games, the Dodgers would have to close the season on a 17-6 tear to tie for the division lead," Dylan Hernandez, Dodgers beat writer for the L.A. Times calculated.
Three days before Kemp crashed into the wall the team completed the most expensive trade in Dodgers history in an attempt to bring back the winning tradition to Chavez Ravine. The loss of their talented center fielder could put a huge dent in their playoff hopes.
However, if the Dodgers could somehow win the next two games in San Francisco, the deficit would only be 3 1/2 games heading into the home stretch.
The Giants have Matt Cain (13-5) on the hill today against Chris Capuano (11-10) for the Dodgers. Sunday, two former Cy Young winners take the mound when southpaws Clayton Kershaw (12-8) for the Dodgers and the Giants' Barry Zito (10-8) square off.
Kemp crashing into the wall at Coors Field: