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Tigers add left-hander Phil Coke to roster for ALCS

Oct 12, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

Phil Coke AP

The Red Sox will use the same roster for the ALCS as they did during the ALDS against the Rays, but the Tigers have made one change with their bullpen. According to Chris Iott of, left-hander Phil Coke has been added to the roster in place of right-hander Luke Putkonen.

After functioning as the Tigers’ closer in the playoffs last year, Coke stumbled with early save chances this year before going down with a groin injury and found himself demoted to Triple-A Toledo in August. The 31-year-old dealt with elbow issues upon his return and was left off the roster for the ALDS against the Athletics, but he has benefited from the rest and didn’t have any setbacks while throwing in the instructional league.

With Coke, Drew Smyly, and Jose Alvarez, the Tigers will have three left-handers in their bullpen for the ALCS. The Red Sox have a number of prominent left-handed bats in their lineup, including David Ortiz, so Jim Leyland will attempt to use the matchups to his advantage.

  1. hieronymous27 - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Things will not go better with Coke.

  2. wolverine307 - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    We are so screwed.

  3. sandpiperair - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Jonny Gomes is going to hit one a mile against this guy.

    • rpb123 - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      Coke only gave up 3 HR this season in 177 PA. His issue is that he walks guys like a scared little leaguer. With all of the LH bats on the Bosox roster there is no way he is going to see a RH and its unlikely he is brought in against Nava since that would bring in Gomes. Drew should get used to seeing Phil if/when he’s up to bat in the later innings.

  4. unclemosesgreen - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I absolutely love this move. Ditto the above Gomes comment. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when he found out – it’s like a little Easter Egg for him hidden in a sea of Tigger RHP’s.

    • rpb123 - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Gomes shouldn’t get his hopes up, after his performance this year Coke is strictly going to be a LOOGY in the post season. He’s likely on the roster to move Alvarez to the long relief role. Coke’s issue this season has been walks more than hits. His K/BB ratio for LH is a serviceable 2.86 but against RH it is an unbelievable 0.71. If by some miracle Gomes does face Coke he would be well advised to not swing and until Phil proves he can throw a strike. Phil’s not stupid, he’s not going to throw it down the middle. His problem is he can’t throw it anywhere near the zone against RH.

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM


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