Pat Murphy and the San Diego Padres are trying anything they can to mix up the lineup, and get a win. The latest change came in the form of Matt Kemp hitting leadoff. Kemp has not hit in the leadoff slot since the 2010 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Having Kemp hitting leadoff is an interesting technique to say the least. If on base percentage is considered the most important factor in determining a leadoff hitter, Kemp is a terrible selection. He currently ranks 12th on the roster with a .282 OBP.
It’s no secret. Kemp has not lived up to expectations so far in 2015, namely in the home run department; however, the switch to leadoff did provoke a homer out of Kemp in Thursday’s loss.
Placing Kemp in the leadoff position might not make sense “by the book”, but the Padres are desperate to get Kemp back to his old form. In his recent slump, Kemp seems to be coming up dry in key RBI situations.
I like the switch because it takes pressure off Kemp and allows him to get some at bats in situations that won’t necessarily kill Padre rally’s.
Murphy knows that if the Padres want to stand any chance of turning their season around, they will need to do it with Matt Kemp.
The Padres are 0-2 since the experiment (as I write this Friday even), but Kemp did come through on Thursday with a two run home run. In vintage fashion, Kemp dug down for a ball out of the zone and somehow lifted it over the center field fence. Perhaps a silver lining in the Padres recent losses? Hopefully Kemp can keep it up and gain his confidence back in the leadoff spot, so he can perform as advertised in meaningful games late in the season.
What do you guys think? How do you like Kemp leading off?
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