The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has seen guys come and go frequently so far in this young season. Whether it be because of injuries or matchups, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Don Mattingly have put their minor league depth to use.
The latest call up was left-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe. The 25-year-old made his Major League debut last September, and after an impressive first month this season in Triple-A he has found himself back in the big leagues, at least for the time being.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News, while Coulumbe has been pitching well in Triple-A (1.74 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 10.1 innings), he has not been paying attention to all the roster moves the Dodgers have made:
There’s been a lot of (player) movement,” Coulombe said Monday. “And I’ve just been really trying to take care of my business and not think about that. To me, it’s noise. All that noise does is distract you. So when you can focus on what you can control — where you throw the baseball, how hard you work — helps get rid of the noise and helps you succeed.”
Coulumbe hasn’t made too many mechanical changes since the last time he was up, but he has made some mental changes that he feel has helped him be successful:
For me, slowing the game down is almost everything,” he said. “When I struggle it’s because I let the game speed up on me. Really slowing the game down and thinking, ‘what pitch do I want to throw here?’ rather than just rushing into a pitch and throwing whatever the catcher calls — just calling my own game and taking the input from the catchers.”
The Arizona native was drafted by the Dodgers out of high school in the 17th round of the 2008 draft. He declined the offer to go to college at Texas Tech University. The Dodgers drafted him again four years later in the 25th round of the 2012 draft.
When he was called up for the first time last September he gave up two earned runs in 4.1 innings of work.
The Dodgers currently have four left-handers in their bullpen: Coulumbe, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and Adam Liberatore. With no starter named for Thursday’s game it is likely that one of them will be sent down so a starter can be called up.
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