GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Kemp made an early appearance in the Dodgers' Major League clubhouse Monday before joining Yasiel Puig and other position player teammates in the batting cage, but that doesn't mean his return is ahead of schedule.
"Matt will be able to do a lot of things, but he's still a little bit behind schedule," said manager Don Mattingly. "There are certain things he won't do until everybody says it's OK -- running outside -- that's when his ankle and the doctors let us know what he's capable of."
Kemp is returning from surgery for a career-threatening injury to the talus bone in his left ankle and the club is now managing expectations because a setback could be devastating. There has been no indication when Kemp will try running, and he can't play if he can't run.
In addition to Kemp and Puig, position players showing up early included Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero (who also is working on second-base defense), Scott Van Slyke, Justin Sellers and Justin Turner.
Maholm's deal protects him no matter his role
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paul Maholm said his incentive-laden contract protects him whether he starts or relieves, and here are the facts:
In addition to a $1.5 million guaranteed base salary, Maholm has the potential to earn a maximum of $5 million in incentives.
To accomplish that, he must compile a total of 60 points, with two points for a game started, 1.5 points for an appearance of two or more innings and one point for an appearance of fewer than two innings.
Last year with Atlanta, Maholm made 26 starts. That would earn him $3.5 million this year.
Lee suffers lat strain, skips first scheduled 'pen session
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitching prospect Zach Lee, participating in his first Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, has a mild right lat strain and skipped his first scheduled bullpen session on Monday.
Lee said he suffered the injury during the "Young Guns" pitching mini-camp two weeks ago while doing pull-ups. He is able to play catch and said he's hopeful of returning to the mound soon.
Expectations for Lee have been high since the then-thrifty Dodgers stepped out of character in 2010 and paid him $5.25 million to bypass an education and career as an LSU quarterback.
After four Minor League seasons, he's shown no exceptional pitch, but four solid ones and off-the-chart intangibles. Scouts now project Lee as a mid-rotation prospect.
Dodgers' pitchers will get a breather on Saturday
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As part of the adjustment to a very unusual Spring Training, the Dodgers have decided to give all of their pitchers a day off on Saturday.
Manager Don Mattingly explained the decision was made primarily to give the pitchers a breather after an early start to camp necessitated by the season-opening trip to Australia in late March.
It also comes one day after the first full-squad workout, as position players report Friday. That will allow coaches to spend an entire day with only position players. The first exhibition game is Feb. 26.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened Spring Training last week ahead of the rest of baseball because they will play a two-game series in Australia March 22-23 that opens the regular season.
The rules allow clubs to take 30 players on the trip. The clubs will submit a provisional roster of 28, from which the customary 25-man Opening Day roster will come.
Mattingly says MLB ready for gay players
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam revealing on Sunday that he is gay, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he expects someone to do the same in Major League Baseball.
"I'm sure we will," Mattingly said. "I thought it was interesting. It seems like it's the right time. It seems like everybody's ready for it."
The comments by Sam, an All-American defensive lineman for the University of Missouri, follow by less than a year a similar revelation by NBA center Jason Collins.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.