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Tigers send Phil Coke back to bullpen, add Charlie Furbush to rotation

Jun 30, 2011, 1:20 PM EST

Coke_Phil

Phil Coke‘s transition from reliever to starter went well early on, as he posted a 3.69 ERA through 11 starts, but that came with an ugly 1-6 record and Coke has since fallen to 1-8 by giving up 18 runs in his last three starts.

Today the Tigers ended the experiment, dropping Coke from the rotation and sending him back to the bullpen, where the left-hander had a 3.76 ERA and 53/26 K/BB ratio in 65 innings last season.

Coke’s overall numbers as a starter certainly aren’t very impressive, with a 4.91 ERA and 37/30 K/BB ratio in 77 innings, but I’m guessing the Tigers wouldn’t have made the move if he were, say, 4-5 instead of 1-8 and much of that comes from poor run support that was out of Coke’s hands anyway.

Whatever the case, left-hander Charlie Furbush will replace Coke in the rotation after pitching well in a dozen relief appearances following his call-up last month. Furbush was a starter in the minors and has always posted excellent strikeout rates, but his ERA in 17 starts at Triple-A was just 4.64. He does get some extra points for the name, however.

  1. hoopmatch - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I’d hate to be Furbush’s sister (with a name like that)…

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Furbush is a bit redundant, no?

  3. The Common Man - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Thank God the destructive Coke Era in Major League Baseball is at an end, and players can finally get back to doing what they do best, hitting the old Furbush.

    • sportsdrenched - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Your tweet alerted me to the fun that can be had in a blog post that contains Coke and Furbush.

      Maybe New Orleans Saints OL Bushrod will be in attendance.

  4. Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    LMAO!!! Tweeted from one C.C. ” weird to see Furbush on the mound so early.”

  5. sportsdrenched - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    How many 2-0 counts will the Tigers announcers quip “Furbush has two balls”

  6. boxchain - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    They made you put the word “Phil” into the headline, didn’t they?

  7. spudchukar - Jun 30, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Waiting for the Announcer to utter, “Chuck Furbush, toes the rubber, and …

  8. Detroit Michael - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    New Coke was a nice experiment, but they are going back to Coke Classic.

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