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03/15/12 8:45 PM ET

Coffey delivers at the plate against KC

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If you think it's funny watching reliever Todd Coffey and his Michelin Man body thundering in from the bullpen on his sprint to the mound, you should have heard him get the last belly laugh Thursday when he became the first Dodgers pitcher to get a base hit this Spring.

"The starters have been taking batting practice every day for two hours," said Coffey, who poked an RBI single to right field. "I'm going to rub it in for sure."

It was Coffey's first hit since Triple-A in 2007, but it also brought up memories of an at-bat in 2010 he'd rather forget.

"I broke my left thumb," he said. "Jammed me. Didn't know how to hold the bat and the vibration cracked it. Even though it's only a slim chance we'd get an at-bat, I was determined to learn how to bat without breaking something."

Coffey had an eventful game on the mound too. He relieved Chad Billingsley to get the final out of the fourth inning, then pitched the fifth, allowing a run on a bunt single, a stolen base and a two-out single by Eric Hosmer.

"A good piece of hitting," Coffey said of Hosmer. "I was real happy with my changeup today to lefties, they swung like they thought it was a fastball. I was pretty happy with the fastball and happy with my slide step."

Manager Don Mattingly won't forget seeing Coffey rumbling in from the bullpen in full sprint.

"I didn't see the parachute come out and got nervous," said Mattingly, who backed away on Coffey's final approach.

DeJesus trying to part a crowded infield

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's been three Springs since Ivan DeJesus broke his leg in a 'B' game and he's been trying to rehabilitate his career ever since.

The son of a Major Leaguer, DeJesus had three hits Thursday, but he's no closer to making the Dodgers Major League roster. DeJesus is a second baseman, but Dodgers management signed three free agents over the winter who can play the position -- starter Mark Ellis and utilitymen Adam Kennedy and Jerry Hairston -- as well as bringing back Justin Sellers, who plays both middle infield spots. And there are non-roster invitees like Lance Zawadzki and Luis Cruz.

"I'm my only competition right now," DeJesus said. "All I can worry about is what I can do on the field. That's all I can control. Sometimes I think about the situation. It's normal and I'm human. But I can't control what they think, what they say or what they do. So there are 29 other teams, not just the Dodgers."

A second-round Draft pick in 2005, DeJesus finally made his Major League debut last season, playing only 17 games and hitting .188. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly gave the good and bad on DeJesus' situation.

"Ivan can hit," the skipper said. "He can really hit and I've said that the whole time. The problem is finding where and how that fits in with us. I don't really know what to say about it. We've got a lot of people here."

Dodgers trim roster by nine with first spring cuts

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers made their first cuts of Spring Training, moving nine players out of the Major League clubhouse.

Major League 40-man roster members who were optioned included pitchers Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall and Chris Withrow, and outfielders Alex Castellanos, Alfredo Silverio and Scott Van Slyke.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were non-roster pitcher Shane Lindsay and infielder Russell Mitchell. Lindsay has been sidelined all spring with a strained lat muscle. Silverio has missed all of camp recovering from injuries sustained in a winter car accident.

The Dodgers now have 53 players in camp.

Mattingly says Guerrier, Loney improving

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- First baseman James Loney and reliever Matt Guerrier reported more improvement in their ailments, manager Don Mattingly said on Thursday.

Loney, who had a tight left calf, returned to workouts and was expected to be back in the lineup on Friday against the Texas Rangers.

Guerrier, who strained a lower back muscle, played light catch but is expected to be out longer than Loney. Guerrier said he has never had back issues until suffering this injury doing leg exercises.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.