GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers on Monday afternoon optioned pitcher Daniel Coulombe to minor league camp, trimming the number of players in major league camp to 40.
Coulombe retired all three batters he faced on Monday against the Diamondbacks, pitching the eighth and ninth innings. He has had a good spring, allowing just two unearned runs on one hit and two walks in 5⅔ innings in six appearances, with three strikeouts. But he was in a battle with Paco Rodriguez, Adam Liberatore and David Huff, and that's just among left-handed pitchers to complement southpaw J.P. Howell in the bullpen.
Coulombe began 2014 in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga but ended his season in the Dodgers bullpen, making his major league debut by pitching in five games in September with Los Angeles.
"He's had kind of a meteoric rise in the last year. We didn't really know anything about Daniel until we watched him on tape last year when we were trying to figure out the bullpen," Mattingly said on Saturday. "He really spins the ball. Anybody can get a breaking ball over, but guys don't see that curveball. He came up with a slider at some point last year that seemed to change it for him."
Coulombe, 25, was drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th round in 2012 out of Texas Tech.
"He's got like a starter's mix, with multiple pitches. When you have multiple pitches, it gives you a better chance to pitch multiple innings, so you're not just a one-guy-out lefty," Mattingly said. "He can spin the breaking ball with a lot of guys. His breaking ball is going to work in the big leagues. What's going to separate him and take him to the next level is fastball command."
Of the 40 players remaining in camp, 16 are position players and 24 are pitchers. Though two pitchers - Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow - are already on the 60-day disabled list, and both Kenley Jansen and Erik Bedard are hurt, so there are really effectively 20 pitchers remaining in camp, or 15 relievers fighting for seven spots.