SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Matt Kemp is eligible to be activated Friday, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it will probably happen.
"He's at a point where he's got to see Major League pitching to see where he's at," Mattingly said of Kemp, who has been rehabbing from left ankle and shoulder operations. "He needs that intensity, and to get over the anxiety of playing in front of people. It will be an adjustment for Matt."
It will also be an adjustment for Mattingly and the lineup, because Kemp hasn't had a normal Spring Training and will likely need time to shake off the rust. Mattingly said it's not something that a Minor League rehab assignment can solve.
"I don't know what that does for him at this point," he said. "He's had as many at-bats in Arizona as anybody. At some point, he's got to start.
"Physically, in his mind, Matt feels he's ready. He's said he's not afraid to do all the things he has to do. In a sense, we can only trust him. He's been honest with us. He doesn't want to get embarrassed. He wants to do well."
Eventually, Mattingly will be challenged to fit four outfielders into three spots, but he said initially Kemp will be handled like any player coming out of Spring Training.
"We definitely have to be patient with him," he said. "He's not going to play in 10 straight games."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.