Going into Friday's action, Matt Kemp was 0-for-8 with three strikeouts, a couple of flyouts to the warning track and the lingering memory of a shoulder that required surgical repair in October.
"I need to [let it go]," said Kemp. "Adrian [Gonzalez, who had similar surgery] told me to just let it go. I need to swing like I swing. It's still in the back of my mind."
Manager Don Mattingly, who lived the unsteady life of a rehabbing ballplayer because of chronic back issues, can appreciate the psychological hurdles Kemp faces in his return from left shoulder surgery.
"I talked to Matt in the weight room and it's still, I think, in the back of his mind a little bit," said Mattingly. "He has to let it loose. The more at-bats he doesn't feel anything, the more he's fine the next day, then he can just go out and play.
Kemp facing mental hurdles in rehab process
MLB.com | Mar 8