Matt Kemp has spent the majority of the last month on the disabled list and has not hit a home run since April 30. Still, the Dodgers slugger has been showed enthusiasm in being named the captain of the National League Home Run Derby team.
Kemp's latest duty as Derby captain is lobbying for teammate Andre Ethier to be part of the festivities. Although Ethier's 10 home runs are good for just 16th in the National League, he does led the league with 52 RBI.
"Andre would be really good in that," manager Don Mattingly said of Ethier's swing. "Matt is not good in a home run contest. He doesn't pull. Try winning that contest going to right-center. All the guys who win pull everything."
Kemp participated in last year's Home Run Derby but only managed two home runs and did not his first one until he had already accumulated nine outs.
It would be expected that Ethier would accept his teammate's request and join him in Kansas City, although many Dodger fans would be just as happy if both cornerstones of the franchise skipped the event altogether.
There is a misconception surrounding the Derby that it ruins the swings of the participants for the second half of the season. While the event is very tiring for the players, there isn't any consistent data that backs up the notion it affects them for the duration of the season.
Aside from Ethier, these appear to be the favorites Kemp will most likely extend an invitation to:
Carlos Beltran (STL, 18 HR)
Carlos Gonzalez (COL, 16 HR)
Ryan Braun (MIL, 15 HR)
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA, 14 HR)
The 2012 Home Run Derby will take place on July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
Joe Chacon is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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