Will Jacoby Ellsbury or Matt Kemp Have a Bigger Impact on His Team’s Lineup After Returning From Injury?

Will Jacoby Ellsbury or Matt Kemp Have a Bigger Impact on His Team's Lineup After Returning From Injury?Two of Major League Baseball's top outfielders returned to action Friday after lengthy breaks due to injury: the Red Sox' Jacoby Ellsbury and the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. Both players finished 2011 as MVP runner-up in their respective leagues.

Ellsbury, who had not played since April 13 due to a shoulder injury, went 1-for-5 in the Red Sox' 3-1 win over the Rays. Kemp had a bit more success, going 2-for-4 with a double against the Padres, but the end result was the same, as the Dodgers won 2-1.

Kemp was playing like an MVP when he went down with a hamstring injury on May 13. He had a .359 batting average, .446 on-base percentage and .726 slugging percentage. He was a major reason why the Dodgers had the best record in baseball through the season's first two months. Kemp did return to play a pair of games on May 29-30, but from there, he proceeded to miss an additional 37 contests. So far in 2012, the Dodgers are 24-13 with Kemp in the lineup and 24-27 without him.

It's a much smaller sample with Ellsbury, as he has played just eight games this season, but the Sox are 3-5 with him and 41-38 without him to this point.

Both teams are currently in the thick of playoff races, with the Dodgers holding a half-game lead in the National League West and the Red Sox just 1 1/2 games back of the second American League wild card spot. Which player will have a bigger impact on his team's fortunes in the season's second half?

Who will have a bigger impact on their team's lineup in the second half?

Red Sox on Twitter

NESN Nation on Twitter

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 185,189 other followers