9/1/2013 2:40 A.M. ET
Kemp won't return until he's comfortable at plate
By Ken Gurnick and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp's ankle is ready, but his bat isn't.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp won't rejoin the Dodgers until he feels comfortable at the plate, and so far he doesn't. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk Sunday in a fourth rehab game with Rancho Cucamonga and Mattingly said he needs more Minor League game action before he plays in the Major Leagues.
"We talked last night," said Mattingly. "I wanted to make sure where he's at and where we're at. We want, and he wants, to be ready when he steps back in. He needs to be comfortable and ready to compete. Matt's in the same spot.
"I know he doesn't feel good at the plate. He's not pushing us. He'll play today and the thought is to continue to play, we just don't know the logistics."
After missing five weeks with a sprained left ankle, Kemp is 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts in four rehab games. Kemp has played in 62 of the Dodgers' 135 games in the first year of an eight-year, $160 million contract.
Volquez interested in returning to Dodgers as starter
LOS ANGELES -- Edinson Volquez said negotiations with the Dodgers that led to his signing Friday did not include any assurances for 2014, but he likes the idea of staying beyond this year.
"Why not?" said the 30-year-old right-hander, who was released this week by the Padres with a 6.01 ERA. "I like what I'm seeing right now. The guys here are nice guys. They may bring me back."
The club has decisions to make about the back end of next year's rotation. Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are signed long-term. Clayton Kershaw will be back at least via arbitration, if not a new contract.
But Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are coming off season-ending surgeries. Ricky Nolasco is a free agent who will command a multi-year raise from his current $11.5 million salary. There's an $8 million mutual option for Chris Capuano. If management wants cost containment, it can turn to prospects Stephen Fife, Zach Lee, Ross Stripling and Matt Magill.
After Volquez's scoreless inning in his debut Friday, manager Don Mattingly said a start is being planned, but the date is not set. Volquez considers himself a starting pitcher, and he again took batting practice with the starting pitchers.
"Now it's a matter of Rick [Honeycutt, the pitching coach] looking at the schedule and how we want to match up going forward," Mattingly said. "Do we want to give guys an extra day or two? That will kind of dictate what we do.
"With the off-day, it gives everybody the extra day. Then we hit another stretch there where there are no days off. Depending where we're at and what's gone on, that's when we start making decisions on extra rest without getting them out of routines. I think that's the main thing. You start messing with Kersh and Zack, they don't like getting out of their routines. We're going to try to keep guys in routines as much as we can, but also be careful with them if we can be."
Volquez said he began watching video Saturday with Honeycutt, who noticed a difference in his current mechanics compared to 2008, when Volquez won 17 games and was an All-Star.
"He saw a little difference in the way I break my hands from my glove at the start," said Volquez.
• Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez homered twice on Friday against the Padres, and he is hitting .387 with six homers, five doubles, 23 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 23 games against his former team.
• Kershaw, Greinke and Nolasco combined for a 13-2 record and 1.30 ERA in August.
• Former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter threw out the first pitch on Saturday. Porter announced Dodgers games for 28 years from 1977-2004.