Phil Coke

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Phil Coke
Phil Coke on June 9, 2013.jpg
Coke with the Detroit Tigers
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1982-07-19) July 19, 1982 (age 32)
Sonora, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 1, 2008 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Win–loss record 22–27
Earned run average 4.16
Strikeouts 307
Saves 8
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Phillip Douglas "Phil" Coke (born July 19, 1982) is an American professional baseball left-handed pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers.

Baseball career[edit]

College[edit]

Coke attended San Joaquin Delta College. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 49th round (1450th overall) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign.

Minor leagues[edit]

He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 26th round (786th overall) of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, and did sign.

He began his baseball career with the GCL Yankees in 2003. By 2007, Coke had also pitched for the short season Staten Island Yankees, Class-A Charleston RiverDogs, and Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees.

He made his Double-A debut with the Trenton Thunder in 2008, going 9–4 with a 2.54 ERA in 23 games (20 starts). Later that year in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, he pitched in 13 games (starting one) and went 2–2 with a 4.67 ERA.

Major leagues[edit]

New York Yankees (2008–09)[edit]

He made his major league debut on September 1, 2008, for the Yankees against the Detroit Tigers with a scoreless inning and strikeouts of Curtis Granderson and Miguel Cabrera. In 2009, Coke got his first World Series title after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

Detroit Tigers (2010–)[edit]

On December 9, 2009, Coke was traded to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three team trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.[1]

Phil's first season in Detroit proved to be successful, as he finished 2010 with a 3.76 ERA (his career best to date) with 17 holds and 2 saves in 21 hold/save situations. The Tigers signed Coke to a new contract on February 7, 2011. After spending all of his previous time in the major leagues as a relief pitcher, Coke was moved from the bullpen to the fifth spot in the starting rotation to start the 2011 season.[2] On June 30, after accumulating a 1–8 record, Coke was moved back to the bullpen.[3] He would finish 2011 with a 3–9 record and a 4.47 ERA.

On January 16, 2012, Coke signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Tigers to avoid arbitration. He was eligible to earn an additional $50,000 based on appearances in the 2012 season.[4]

Despite a so-so season in which he posted a 4.00 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP, Coke was perhaps the Tigers most reliable reliever in the 2012 postseason. Pressed into duty as the team's closer on October 14, 2012 after regular season closer José Valverde had surrendered 7 runs in his previous two appearances, Phil earned a save against the Yankees in Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS. He would also save Game 3, striking out Raúl Ibañez on a 3–2 slider to preserve a 2–1 victory with two runners on base. In ALCS Game 4 on October 18, Coke pitched two perfect innings to finish off the Tigers 8–1 win over his former team and send the Tigers to the World Series for the first time in six years.

In the 2012 World Series, Coke pitched 3 13 innings, allowing one run. The only run Coke gave up in the entire postseason came in the top of the 10th inning of Game 4, and was the game and series winner for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. This came after Coke had struck out the side in the top of the 9th inning which, coupled with his appearances in Games 2 and 3 of the series, gave him a World Series record seven consecutive strikeouts.[5] Coke finished the 2012 postseason allowing one run in 10 23 innings (0.84 ERA) and striking out 13 batters.

Coke's strong 2012 postseason proved to be an anomaly. He struggled throughout the 2013 season, failing to thrive as either a setup man or a lefty specialist. Tossing only 38 13 innings on the year, Phil's ERA ballooned to a career-high 5.40. On August 20, 2013, after an outing against the Minnesota Twins that typified Coke's ineffectiveness this season, the Tigers demoted him to their Triple-A farm club in Toledo, subsequently promoting left-handed pitcher José Álvarez to the major league roster.[6]

Pitch Selection[edit]

Phil throws mainly four-seam and two-seam fastballs. His four-seamer is thrown in the 93–95 MPH range, occasionally reaching 97 MPH. The two-seamer is a shade slower, averaging 92–93 MPH. He mixes in a slider in the 78–83 MPH range and an occasional changeup between 83 and 86 MPH.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2009). "Granderson joins Yanks in three-way trade". MLB.com. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Starter Phil Coke agrees to terms with Tigers". MLive.com. February 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Tigers move Coke to 'pen, Furbush to rotation". MLB.com. June 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ Dierkes, Tim (January 16, 2012). "Players Avoiding Arbitration: Monday". MLBTradeRumors. 
  5. ^ Cassidy, Jack (October 29, 2012). "Phil Coke sets Tigers, MLB records in World Series". SBNation Detroit. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ Iott, Chris (August 21, 2013). "Detroit Tigers send Phil Coke to Triple-A Toledo to work on command, recall left-hander Jose Alvarez". mlive.com. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Phil Coke PitchFX at FanGraphs.com". fangraphs.com. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]