Scott Van Slyke leaves game in the third inning with lower back tightness.

Scott Van Slyke

Scott Van Slyke was anointed the Dodgers’ starting left fielder Saturday morning, then left the game after three innings with back stiffness. (Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO >> Scott Van Slyke was removed in the third inning of the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday with lower back tightness.

Van Slyke batted with the bases loaded against Madison Bumgarner and was hit on his left forearm or elbow, driving in a run. But on the previous swing-and-miss, he was seen grimacing, which might have prompted the team to remove him as a precaution.

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Chase Utley, 37, is the Dodgers’ Opening Day leadoff hitter.

Chase Utley

Chase Utley has two hits in 11 plate appearances leading off a game in his career. He’ll lead off Monday against the San Diego Padres. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)


SAN DIEGO — Chase Utley had been in eight Opening Day lineups before today, but never had he been penciled into the leadoff slot.
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Corey Seager (knee) and Joc Pederson (?) leave Dodgers’ game against Angels.

Corey Seager

Corey Seager went 1 for 2 with a single against the Angels on Friday. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder Joc Pederson exited the Dodgers’ 8-4 loss to the Angels on Friday earlier than usual.
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Watch: Joc Pederson has a new swing.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Joc Pederson has a new swing.

That sentence can be typed often enough that it can be disqualified as “news.” But when Pederson stepped into the batting cage Thursday during the Dodgers’ first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch, his swing definitely looked different:

From the angle at which Pederson holds his bat, to a dramatically reduced front-foot step — it used to be a high leg lift — there’s a lot to dissect. (Sorry the angle isn’t more revealing.) I talked to Pederson after today’s workout about the new swing and its purpose. I’ll post those quotes in a bit.

Update: See what Joc had to say about his new swing here.

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Season in review about nothing: Joc Pederson, ‘The Betrayal.’

Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson’s OPS was 234 points lower after the All-Star break (.617) than before (.851).    (Getty Images)

This is Part 35 of a series in which every member of the 2015 Dodgers has his season juxtaposed with an episode of the greatest sitcom of all-time. Don’t take it too seriously.

Joc Pederson, CF

Key stats: .210/.346/.417, 26 home runs, 170 strikeouts in 585 plate appearances; -3 DRS, -3.9 UZR, -1.8 dWAR in 147 games in center field.

Seinfeld episode: “The Betrayal” (Season 9, Episode 8)

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