Kemp makes sense in left field

Matt Kemp has had a rough time in center field the past few years. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

When Don Mattingly benched Matt Kemp for five straight games recently because of poor defense, I couldn't help but think of how recently Kemp was considered one of the best players in baseball.

In 2011, Kemp hit .324 with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases, leading the National League in WAR and finishing second in the MVP voting. Injuries have precipitated a decline in Kemp's offensive production since that amazing season, but his defense has been a problem for much of his career. The Dodgers seem to recognize this and are now playing Kemp in left field. This is a smart move.