04/02/2013 9:16 PM ET
Shoulder appears to be no problem for Kemp
By Ken Gurnick and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has not been slowed by offseason surgery on his left shoulder.
Kemp, who had a torn labrum repaired and minor debridement of the rotator cuff in an arthroscopic procedure Oct. 5, has showed no signs of being limited by his shoulder in 2013.
"He may be thinking about [the shoulder], but it doesn't seem like it any more," manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday's game against the Giants. "I think when we assessed Spring Training, we felt like that was one of the hurdles that we crossed that was successful."
Kemp did not have any setbacks in Spring Training and played an important role in the Dodgers' 4-0 Opening Day win over the Giants. The two-time All-Star worked an 11-pitch at-bat against San Francisco ace Matt Cain in the first inning, driving up the right-hander's pitch count early. Cain was removed from the game after six innings.
"We've seen his at-bats get better and better," Mattingly said Tuesday. "I know he didn't get any hits yesterday, but the at-bat early in the game off Cain was a great at-bat. Those are the kind of at-bats that we need to see."
Kemp went 0-for-3 with a walk and run on Opening Day, but has been one of the best hitters in the Major Leagues in April throughout his career. His .340 career batting average in the first month of the season is the sixth highest all-time among players with at least 400 at-bats in April.
Cautious Dodgers rest Crawford in second game
LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford was held out of the Dodgers lineup Tuesday against the Giants. The club remains cautious with the outfielder following Tommy John surgery last August.
Crawford experienced some discomfort in his left elbow during Spring Training and is not yet fully recovered from surgery that limited him to 31 games in 2012 with the Red Sox.
"We want to be able to ease him in," manager Don Mattingly said before the game.
Crawford made his Dodgers debut Opening Day, going 2-for-4 with a single in his first at-bat. He doubled and scored during a four-run eighth inning for Los Angeles in a 4-0 victory over San Francisco.
Jerry Hairston Jr. started in left field and led off Tuesday in place of Crawford.
While Crawford's arm is not at full strength, he has been productive at the plate. He hit .357 (10-for-28) in 10 Spring Training games with a home run and three RBIs.
Skip Schumaker replaced Crawford in left field in the top of the ninth inning Monday.
Crawford is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday for the series finale.
Lilly tosses bullpen session; rehab game next?
LOS ANGELES -- Ted Lilly threw a lengthy bullpen session Tuesday that sets him up to pitch in a Minor League game Friday at Rancho Cucamonga.
Lilly said he wasn't sure what would follow the bullpen session. Much more than that remains a mystery as Lilly has declined to answer questions about his current status on the Dodgers.
Officially, he's on the disabled list, and maybe that's why when his name was introduced during Opening Day ceremonies, Lilly didn't join his teammates on the third-base line.
Or maybe Lilly was sending a thinly veiled message for being dislodged from the starting rotation after requiring shoulder surgery last year.
Easily forgotten is that until the game in which he was injured, Lilly was having the best season of his career (5-0, 1.79 ERA). And that was a carryover from the end of 2011, when he won five of his last six decisions.
Manager Don Mattingly would only say that he and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt are trying to get Lilly's arm strength built back up so he can resume starting. Where that will be, considering that the Dodgers have seven other starters, is another one of those mysteries.
"It'll work itself out," said Mattingly.
That's been management's stock answer to the surplus of starters, two of which (Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang) were sent to the bullpen, after combining for 22 victories as starters last year. Because of his twice-repaired shoulder, Lilly is not considered a candidate for relief.
Lilly is in the final season of a three-year, $33 million contract.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.