Matt Kemp is getting an extended break while transitioning to a new role.
The veteran Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder didn't start for a fifth consecutive game Tuesday. Instead, he was limited to a pregame workout and an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance in the during the team's 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Kemp struck out in his at-bat.
Meanwhile, the club is moving him to a possible platoon in left field, a major come-down for the two-time Gold Glove winner who finished runner-up to National League MVP Ryan Braun in 2011. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly repeated his assertion that Kemp doesn't possess the burst of speed he possessed before having offseason ankle surgery.
Kemp, who refused to speak with reporters, worked out in left field before Tuesday's game.
"I thought he looked really good," Mattingly said. "Really, it's just a matter of him saying, 'Hey, I feel comfortable and ready to go.' From there, we put our guys in the lineup. It's how we do it.
"This is the first day he's had a true workout (in left), so we want to make sure he's comfortable and ready to roll."
Mattingly refused to say before the game whether Kemp and left fielder Carl Crawford would split time at the position, but that could change since Crawford sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's victory over the Reds.
"Right now, left field is left field. We put our club together and put our best team out there. That's how we've been doing it," Mattingly said.