DENVER -- Matt Kemp, last year's National League home run champ, hasn't hit one since Aug. 8, has only two this month and only five since returning from the disabled list July 13 from a two-month hamstring injury.
"I don't know why that always ends up being a big deal," manager Don Mattingly said when told of the drought. "I feel they come in streaks. He might hit five in nine days, then go without for a while."
In Kemp's current case, a long while.
"All of our guys in the middle are capable of hitting for high average, of driving in runs and hitting home runs," Mattingly said. "I'm not concerned. You get hits, that stuff will be there. It's when you try to produce home runs that you get in trouble. Anybody gets in trouble when they try to hit them."
After fixing flaw, League settles in for Dodgers
DENVER -- The July 31 acquisition of reliever Brandon League from Seattle, which looked like a bust two weeks into his Dodgers career, now has the appearance of being a good move.
League, an All-Star closer last year, allowed runners to score in four of his first seven Dodgers appearances. He gave up nine hits in five innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
But with the counsel of pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen coach Ken Howell, a mechanical flaw was spotted in video and League has worked daily on ironing it out.
His last four outings have been scoreless and hitless with six strikeouts and two walks in four innings.
"It's just been a mechanical issue that gets me into position to have more consistency with my fastball, and off the fastball comes the slider and split," League said. "The more I pitch, the more comfortable I'm getting.
"When I'm getting swing-and-misses or foul balls and weak ground balls, that's how I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing."
League's acquisition for Minor Leaguers Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom allowed the Dodgers to trade Josh Lindblom to the Phillies to get Shane Victorino.
"He's been really good," manager Don Mattingly said. "He works really hard, and that's what I like so far. He's throwing a lot more strikes with greater depth. I feel comfortable with him against righties and lefties. His work is paying off."
Colletti, Mattingly meet as waiver deadline nears
DENVER -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti met the club Tuesday and briefed manager Don Mattingly on trade talks, but nothing appears imminent with the waiver trade deadline Friday at 8:59 p.m. PT.
The Dodgers would like to add depth at starting or relief pitching. They kicked the tires on Mark Buehrle in July and have spoken with Texas about Roy Oswalt, but nothing appears imminent.
The biggest-name reliever available is Miami's Heath Bell, whose poor performance seems to be a bigger obstacle than the $18 million he'll earn the next two years. Bell lost the closer job in Miami.
"How many can you add?" asked Mattingly, apparently preparing himself to play the rest of the way with what he has. "We've flipped one-third of the roster. I'm trying to get to know these guys."
The Dodgers expect reliever Matt Guerrier to be added when rosters expand Sept. 1. Guerrier, expected to be a workhorse middle reliever, threw only 6 2/3 innings before going on the disabled list April 24 with elbow tendinosis.
Victorino, M. Ellis swap spots at top of LA lineup
DENVER -- Manager Don Mattingly tweaked the top of the batting order Tuesday night, moving Shane Victorino from leadoff to second and Mark Ellis from second to leadoff.
"I just flipped them to create a little energy," Mattingly said. "Both have done a good job. It's just a different look."
The change comes after the Dodgers were shut out in Coors Field by a pitching staff with the highest ERA in baseball. But Mattingly said there was some baseball logic to it.
"I don't feel it's a major change, but to me, it's as much for Shane as anything," he said. "I want him to be comfortable in the role he had the last couple years."
Victorino actually has more at-bats this year in the No. 5 spot. In previous seasons with the Phillies, he most frequently hit second behind Jimmy Rollins. That meant Victorino was protected by Philadelphia's No. 3 hitter, Ryan Howard. In the new alignment, Victorino is protected by Matt Kemp.
Ellis has only 16 previous at-bats this year leading off and hasn't spent any considerable time there since 2008.
Against Colorado rookie right-hander Tyler Chatwood, Mattingly also started Adam Kennedy at third base to give a day off to hot-hitting Luis Cruz, who is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.