DENVER -- Matt Kemp's hitting rehab shifted from Class A Rancho Cucamonga to the Dodgers' Spring Training complex in Arizona on Tuesday, but it doesn't sound like the Dodgers expect an immediate return to the club or to his 2011 form.
Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp has missed the equivalent of an offseason with his numerous injuries and needs more live action than continued games in the California League playoffs with Rancho Cucamonga could provide.
So Kemp was sent to Camelback Ranch-Glendale, where he will face young pitchers like Matt Magill and Onelki Garcia as he works to get his mechanics and confidence back.
Going 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts in five rehab games is proof Kemp needs work on both. Kemp really hasn't been healthy since 2011 -- developing bad habits, and the doubts they lead to -- while battling three hamstring strains, a torn left shoulder labrum, an arthritic AC joint in the same shoulder and most recently a badly sprained left ankle.
"He can get 10 to 12 at-bats a day, and you get four at-bats in the Minor League setting," said Mattingly. "In a four-day period, he could get 40 at-bats. In 2 1/2 months, he's had 37 at-bats. That's like a full winter off. It's like the beginning of Spring Training. That's kind of where he is."
Mattingly said Kemp's health is now fine and he's working on getting back his timing at the plate. Mattingly added that he didn't know how long Kemp would remain in Arizona, but he expected him to miss the series in Cincinnati from Friday through Sunday.
Whenever Kemp returns, Mattingly said he anticipated using him in center field and not right field, the only other position at which he has played a significant amount of time as a Major Leaguer.
"Yasiel [Puig] is a force with his arm and I don't really want to move him," said Mattingly. "So, center field is the only place I see Matt right now."
Puig out of lineup, not ready to go full speed
DENVER -- The Dodgers decided to play it safe with Yasiel Puig's strained right knee and play without him Tuesday night.
Puig, removed from Monday's game in the sixth inning when he felt discomfort behind the knee, was out of the starting lineup Tuesday night. He suited up for stretching, but before the club took batting practice he huddled with trainers and retreated for additional treatment without participating in any drills.
Manager Don Mattingly, speaking before Puig left the field, hinted that it might play out that way.
"I'm not going to put him out there until he's ready to go full speed," said Mattingly. "He's not the kind of guy that plays half speed."
Puig said he has felt occasional discomfort behind the knee for the last month, but acknowledged it was worse Monday after he legged out a ground ball on a throwing error by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Mattingly reiterated that the club does not believe the injury is serious and speculated that Puig would have insisted on playing if it was a postseason game.
Skip Schumaker started in right field.
Volquez confident after work in bullpen session
DENVER -- Edinson Volquez, who will get the spot start for the Dodgers on Wednesday, said he's been tipping his pitches and hopes to show the results of bullpen work against the Rockies.
Manager Don Mattingly, however, said mechanical adjustments Volquez has worked on with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt are more focused on keeping him on line to the plate, instead of spinning off toward first base.
Either way, Volquez said the time he spent watching comparison video of his 2008, 17-win form and his 2013, 5.97 ERA form should help him regain the form that had Mattingly raving about his sixth starter.
"I think the guy's got great stuff," said Mattingly. "I don't know what happened in San Diego [which released Volquez last week], but he's a lot like Carlos [Marmol, another reclamation project]. Guys with quality stuff. He's struggled, but we know it's in there somewhere."
Volquez has a horrid 8.39 ERA at Coors Field, but Mattingly said it was irrelevant in the selection of Volquez to start Wednesday, which the club had long targeted as a date Stephen Fife would start to give the other five starters an extra day of rest. Volquez has replaced Fife as the Dodgers' sixth starter.
"This is the perfect spot for us," said Mattingly, who will push Hyun-Jin Ryu to Friday, with Zack Greinke pitching Saturday and Clayton Kershaw Sunday.
Volquez said his confidence is high after a Sunday bullpen session.
"I was tipping my pitches and we worked on it," he said. "I will be more comfortable with my delivery. We worked one hour, let's see what happens. On the video we saw different mechanics. We worked a lot on hiding the ball. You can tell the difference with my hands. We'll see if I can do what they want me to do.
"I'm 100 percent positive. I've got a strong mind. I'm so happy and glad to make one or two starts before the season is over."
• The Dodgers recalled reliever Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque, and Mattingly said he would probably be the club's final September callup.
• Mattingly said Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier would not start Wednesday, and possibly not Adrian Gonzalez, against Colorado left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.