8/28/2013 7:42 P.M. ET
Kemp set for rehab assignment beginning Thursday
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kemp, on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle, is penciled in to be the designated hitter with Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night against High Desert.
"Don't hold me to that, but I think he's going to DH tomorrow," Mattingly said after the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 4-0, on Wednesday afternoon.
Kemp ran sprints and made curves in the outfield at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday morning after running hard on the bases on Tuesday for the first time since he injured his ankle in an awkward slide at home plate July 21 in Washington.
"I think he passed all the tests," Mattingly said. "It seems like it's taken a while, but we're there. We've kind of survived, and hopefully we get Matt sharp and it gives us more options with our players."
Rancho Cucamonga's season ends on Monday, so Kemp would have five opportunities to play rehab games. The former All-Star has 37 at-bats in the Major Leagues since June 25, and has said he's unsure of how many rehab games he needs.
"I think the timetable puts a little bit of a time crunch on it," Mattingly said. "But along that same line, it doesn't mean we can make it happen faster. We have to make sure he's ready, so he can go out and play full speed. We have to make sure that Matt is right before he goes out there."
Prime opportunity arises to give Adrian breather
LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in games played and started, so it was a rare sight to see the first baseman out of Wednesday's lineup against the Cubs.
But manager Don Mattingly felt it was the right time to rest Gonzalez -- who has started 126 games and appeared in 128 -- with an early start on Wednesday and a day off on Thursday. Gonzalez is 2-for-20 with one home run and three RBIs in his past five games.
"I had to give Adrian a day today," Mattingly said. "I could see it yesterday, he was dragging pretty good. I don't think he is feeling great."
Jerry Hairston got the start at first base. Hanley Ramirez replaced Gonzalez in the No. 3 hole in the lineup. That influenced Mattingly to bat Yasiel Puig leadoff, move Carl Crawford behind the rookie and put Andre Ethier in the cleanup spot to avoid stacking right-handed and left-handed batters.
Crawford had exclusively hit leadoff in 78 games before Wednesday. But the lineup's new look could be used again.
"I would like to possibly look into that a little bit," Mattingly said. "It may work nice if I could flip flop Carl and Puig and Hanley and Gonzo. It's something I've kind of been thinking about."
Dominguez not expected to be part of Dodgers' callups
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers expect to add players when rosters expand on Sunday, but reliever Jose Dominguez is unlikely to be included, because the right-hander has not progressed enough from a strained left quad that has sidelined him for over a month.
Dominguez has been on the disabled list since July 23. He underwent a second MRI exam on his quad, which the Dodgers said did not reveal additional damage. The club does not expect Dominguez to need surgery.
"It's just been slow," said manager Don Mattingly. "It hasn't been a whole lot moving forward. He may have played catch a few times, but any time we've tried to get extended out, the leg has kind of kept him from doing it. It's just taking a long time."
Still, the Dodgers plan to stock their bench with other September callups. There are 12 position players and 13 relievers on the active roster, so Mattingly could use some extra bodies on the bench.
"There will be some guys that come up right away," Mattingly said. "It would be nice to getting back to having an extra guy to hit, an extra guy to run."
The Dodgers would be able to carry up to 40 players on the active roster once rosters expand on Sunday.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.