8/28/2013 3:09 A.M. ET
Kemp runs on ankle, targets Thursday rehab game
By Austin Laymance and Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp tested his sprained left ankle running the bases for the first time on Tuesday, and the Dodgers center fielder could begin a Minor League rehab assignment as early as Thursday.
The Dodgers want to see how Kemp's ankle responds to Tuesday's workout and have him run the bases again on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could play in a rehab game the following day.
"I was a little skeptical, but it turned out to be really, really good," Kemp said after running the bases for the first time since he sprained his ankle July 21. "It was fun to get out there and run. It's been a while. I'm getting there. I was a little hesitant getting out there and running for the first time. You don't know what to expect, you don't know what it's going to feel like. But it went better than I thought it would."
Kemp has been out more than a month since injuring his ankle in an awkward slide at the plate in his first game back from a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder issue. He has 37 at-bats in the Major Leagues since June 25 and said he's unsure of how many rehab games he needs.
"I just need to get at-bats, that's it," Kemp said. "I've been sitting out a while. I need to polish up on my swing, and go for a couple days and get some at-bats."
Whenever Kemp returns to the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly will likely have four capable outfielders for three spots in Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and rookie Yasiel Puig.
Kemp has played in 62 games with the Dodgers and missed 70. He does not want to sit when he's activated.
"My role is to play center field every day," Kemp said. "I want to play every day. I don't like to sit out of games. I like to play. I like to give my team a chance to win and I feel like I can do that."
But Kemp might not get his wish.
"I don't want to throw anybody aside, but you get to a point in the season, and for all of our guys it's got to be about us winning and Matt's had a rough year physically, it's not that hard to see," Mattingly said. "I think Matt's got to understand where we're at. He sees what's going on. I'm going to do the best I can to give us the best chance to win."
Mattingly said Puig sometimes looks tired mentally, and Kemp's return would help give the Cuban a breather. In the end, one of those four outfielders will be on the bench at the start of each game.
"Somebody is going to be mad," Mattingly said. "I don't expect them not to be mad. If they weren't mad, then I'd probably be worried about them. I want our guys to want to play, and they all think they can play. So that's a good thing."
Seager headlines LA prospects in Arizona Fall League
LOS ANGELES -- Shortstop Corey Seager headlines a group of Dodgers prospects who will showcase their talent in this year's Arizona Fall League.
Seager -- the Dodgers' No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLB.com -- will be joined by catchers Pratt Maynard and Chris O'Brien, and outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez on the Glendale Desert Dogs.
The Fall League plays a six-week schedule, which begins on Oct. 8 and concludes on Nov. 16. The six teams in the league will play six days per week (Monday through Saturday) in five Cactus League stadiums near Phoenix. More than 60 percent of prospects who have played in the AFL have reached the Major Leagues.
Selected 18th overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Seager hit .309 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs in 74 games with Class A Great Lakes this season before being promoted to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, where he hit .165 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his first 21 games.
Maynard and O'Brien also play with Rancho Cucamonga. Maynard is the "taxi squad" member of the Desert Dogs and will be activated only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Cavasos-Galvez has appeared in 110 games with Double-A Chattanooga, hitting .265 with seven homers, 15 doubles, 40 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He's among six outfielders that will play for the Desert Dogs, including Minnesota's Byron Buxton, the No. 1 prospect in baseball.
The Dodgers will also send four pitchers to the AFL, but they have not yet been determined.
The Desert Dogs will also feature prospects from the Marlins, Reds, Twins and White Sox. They will play home games at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Rancho Cucamonga hitting coach Johnny Washington will assume the same position with the Desert Dogs.
Dodgers are first team to hit 3 million in attendance
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers lead the Major Leagues in attendance and surpassed 3 million fans at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night for the 27th time in franchise history and 17th time in the past 18 years. It's the fastest the club has reached 3 million in attendance since 2008, when it reached the milestone on Aug. 19.
The Dodgers saluted Tuesday's sellout crowd of 52,326 from their dugout during the seventh-inning stretch.
"It's amazing. They stuck with us in some pretty tough times early in the season, and for them to get 3 million fans before September is pretty special," said Skip Schumaker. "It feels like it's sold out every night. They are some of the loudest fans I've ever been around. They are super supportive. It's just a testament to ownership committing to us and the fans committing to us. It's a really good combo."
Puig, Rodriguez set to appear at Cuban Heritage Day
LOS ANGELES -- Rookies Yasiel Puig and Paco Rodriguez will make appearances Sunday, when Viva Los Dodgers doubles as Cuban Heritage Day, to be held in the Dodger Stadium parking lot before the club's game against San Diego.
Puig, Rodriguez and fabled Dodgers scout Mike Brito -- all three with Cuban roots -- will appear at 11 a.m. PT to sign autographs and participate in a question-and-answer session.
Entertainment will be provided by Dimelo! Records artist La Charanga Cubana and Cuban-American DJ Canyon Cody.
At each Viva Los Dodgers, the Dodgers recognize outstanding leadership and service in the Latino and greater Los Angeles community with the "Heroe de la Comunidad" award. This Sunday's recipient is Dr. Tirso del Junco, a prominent diplomat, retired surgeon, community leader and native of Havana, Cuba. This award will be presented by Dodger Hall of Fame Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrín.
Dodgers downplay virus pitchers picked up in Miami
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have seen a cold virus spread through their clubhouse since returning from Miami on Thursday. But manager Don Mattingly thinks it's not too serious.
The virus has affected starters Ricky Nolasco and Hyun-Jin Ryu ; relievers Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Carlos Marmol ; as well as second baseman Mark Ellis. Each of those players except Belisario has appeared in a game since returning from Miami, though Belisario warmed up in the bullpen on Monday.
"A lot of them said they sound bad, but they feel all right," Mattingly said Tuesday. "They've got a cough, but they're not feeling bad. I think we're kind of getting on the other side of it, I hope. But you never know if it starts getting to the other guys."
Mattingly has road named after him in hometown
LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly grew up in Evansville, Ind., playing Little League baseball at Bosse Field, where a stretch of road was recently named after the Dodgers manager.
The Evansville City Council voted Monday to rename a section of North Main Street, "Don Mattingly Way." A few blocks away stands a pizza shop owned by Mattingly's brother-in-law, Turoni's Pizza & Brewery.
"Awesome pizza," Mattingly said. "If you're ever in Evansville, stop by there. It's a family business. I used to have to clean it when I was a kid."
Mattingly is the most famous baseball player from Evansville, which sits along the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.