Headed for Japan, O’Koyea Dickson reflects on his Dodgers tenure.

If you were to list every Dodgers player from the time he joined the organization until now, the first eight names would be:

  1. Kenley Jansen
  2. Andre Ethier
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Pedro Baez
  5. Yimi Garcia
  6. Joc Pederson
  7. Scott Barlow
  8. O’Koyea Dickson

It might be too soon to cross off Andre Ethier’s name, but he is a free agent for the first time. There’s a decent chance he will not return in 2018.

Go ahead and cross off Barlow’s name. A 2011 draft pick, he pitched eight games above the Double-A level in the last six years. The Royals signed him to a major-league contract Dec. 7. Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas are still free agents, but Scott Barlow is on a 40-man roster in Kansas City. Go figure.

Dickson formally moved on this week too. He’s headed to Japan to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. I wanted to follow up on this because a few interesting things happened at the end of Dickson’s time as a Dodger that bear mention and, well, it’s a bear market.

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Clayton Kershaw leaves start after two innings with back injury.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw didn’t allow a hit Sunday before he was forced to leave with low back tightness. (Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — It was 86 degrees Sunday in Los Angeles when Clayton Kershaw sat down uncomfortably in the dugout after pitching the second inning. A Dodgers trainer approached him. After a quick chat the two walked down the tunnel leading into the home clubhouse. Quietly, Kershaw’s day was done.

The Dodgers announced that Kershaw left the game with right lower back tightness.
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A brief Pedro Guerrero update.

Two days after he was transferred out of the intensive care unit of his Manhattan hospital, former Dodgers slugger Pedro Guerrero was able to talk, and move his arms and legs Thursday, according to a friend of Guerrero’s family.

Guerrero, 60, suffered a brain hemorrhage while driving to the gym on Monday in Queens. He was taken to the nearest medical facility that night and placed in a medically induced coma, then transferred to Lenox Hill Hospital the next day. Guerrero awoke from the coma Tuesday and has been steadily progressing since. A second source in contact with Guerrero’s family said that the slugger is now aware enough to recite his date of birth.

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Dodgers’ opening day lineup features Andrew Toles leading off, Yasiel Puig eighth.

Andrew Toles

Andrew Toles is one of two Dodgers who will appear on their first opening day roster today. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

Andrew Toles didn’t merely make his first opening day roster Monday. He’ll get the Dodgers’ first plate appearance of the new season.

Toles is leading off against the San Diego Padres in the first game of the season for both teams.

“We like Andrew in the batter’s box against right-handed pitchers,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To get at-bats in there, the speed element, and have Corey (Seager) behind him — also, just to have Logan (Forsythe) somewhere in the middle to break up Adrian (Gonzalez), Joc (Pederson) and Yasmani (Grandal), there’s a lot of similarities with those guys. To have a right-handed grinder-type bat in the middle, it also sandwiches Adrian around two right-handed bats. Strategically it could be a benefit for us.”

Here are the complete lineups for both teams:

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