"He may be thinking about [the shoulder], but it doesn't seem like it any more," manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday's game against the Giants. "I think when we assessed Spring Training, we felt like that was one of the hurdles that we crossed that was successful."
Kemp did not have any setbacks in Spring Training and played an important role in the Dodgers' 4-0 Opening Day win over the Giants. The two-time All-Star worked an 11-pitch at-bat against San Francisco ace Matt Cain in the first inning, driving up the right-hander's pitch count early. Cain was removed from the game after six innings.
"We've seen his at-bats get better and better," Mattingly said Tuesday. "I know he didn't get any hits yesterday, but the at-bat early in the game off Cain was a great at-bat. Those are the kind of at-bats that we need to see."
Kemp went 0-for-3 with a walk and run on Opening Day, but has been one of the best hitters in the Major Leagues in April throughout his career. His .340 career batting average in the first month of the season is the sixth highest all-time among players with at least 400 at-bats in April.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.