Cincinnati Reds: Matt Kemp should be relegated to the bench

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 05: Matt Kemp #27 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after striking out during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 05: Matt Kemp #27 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after striking out during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Matt Kemp has not looked at all like the All-Star he was last season. It’s time the Cincinnati Reds to realize what his value is; a pinch hitter.

There’s no easy way to say it, I was wrong about Matt Kemp. The Cincinnati Reds traded for Kemp, along with Kyle Farmer, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood back in December. Kemp, who had an All-Star season in 2018, looks like a shell of his former self. If the Reds can’t find any takers, it’s time for Kemp to be relegated to the bench.

Matt Kemp is 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts. You read that right, 10 strikeouts. He hasn’t even drawn a walk in his 20 plate appearances and is swinging at balls way out of the strike zone. During Friday’s loss, Joe Musgrove had no use for his fastball against Kemp and just fanned him with a bunch of changeups on two different occasions.

Before the season, a lot of fans were on the trade Matt Kemp bandwagon and I thought that was a bit premature. Now, I’m starting to agree with that faction of the Cincinnati Reds’ fanbase. The prevailing thought I had before the season was that Kemp would be a sound, veteran presence in a clubhouse full of talented, young players that could use some additional leadership outside of Joey Votto and Tucker Barnhart.

However, Kemp’s play, both at the plate and in the field, gives off the vibe of a player that doesn’t want to be there. I think Kemp believes he can still compete at a high-level, but sees the writing on the wall that the Reds preference is to give opportunities to their young talent.

At this point, I’d rather see Kyle Farmer or Derek Dietrich take over in the outfield if the Reds need a defensive replacement late in the game. Both are capable of playing the corner outfield sports.

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The Cincinnati Reds rid themselves of Homer Bailey this offseason and Matt Kemp was the price they had to pay. So far Bailey’s pitched in one game for the Kansas City Royals and owns a 5.40 ERA. Kemp has a .050 batting average and no RBIs. I don’t know which one is worse at this point in time.