While Matt Kemp rehabilitated his surgically repaired left shoulder, he has also been resculpting his body.
Walking around shirtless in the Dodgers clubhouse at spring training, Kemp is noticeably slimmer than he was a year ago.
"I'm going back to the little, lighter Matt," Kemp said.
That was the guy who hit a career-high 39 home runs in 2011 while stealing 40 bases, making a run at the triple crown and finishing second in voting for the National League most valuable player award. And, perhaps most importantly, the guy who played in every game that season.
Kemp said he weighs 213 pounds, which is about what he weighed when he reported to camp before the best year of his career.
He thought gaining weight would result in even more weighty accomplishments.
"I hit 39 home runs," he recalled thinking. "Maybe if I gain 10 pounds I can hit 10 more home runs."
Instead, Kemp hit the disabled list twice because of hamstring problems. Late in the season, he crashed into a wall in center field and sustained a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which required off-season surgery.
Kemp said he is lighter, but not weaker. "I actually feel I have more power when I'm lighter," he said. "Everything's a little bit more free and working the way you want it to work."
Kemp, who stole only nine bases last season, said he intends to become a base-stealing threat again. He also thinks his lighter frame will allow him to better patrol center field.
Matt Kemp reverts to lighter, slimmer self
Los Angeles Times | Feb 16