Phil Coke

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Phil Coke
Phil Coke on June 9, 2013.jpg
Coke with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 9, 2013
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1982-07-19) July 19, 1982 (age 33)
Sonora, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 1, 2008, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through June 21, 2015)
Win–loss record 22–27
Earned run average 4.20
Strikeouts 319
WHIP 1.43
Saves 8
Career highlights and awards

Phillip Douglas Coke (born July 19, 1982) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in MLB for the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Baseball career[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.

New York Yankees[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[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]

Coke'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 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]

In 2014, his final season with the Tigers, Coke posted a 5–2 record with 41 strikeouts and a 3.88 ERA in 58 innings pitched.

Chicago Cubs[edit]

In March 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, receiving a non-roster invitation to spring training. Coke will reportedly earn a $2.25 million salary if he makes the team.[7][8] He was designated for assignment by the Cubs on May 18, and released by the club on May 26.

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

On May 30, 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.[9][10] On June 11, the Blue Jays purchased Coke's contract from Triple-A.[11] He took the mound for the first time with Toronto on June 14, pitching 2 scoreless innings in a 13–5 win over the Boston Red Sox.[12] He became a free agent again on June 22, after he declined his minor-league assignment by the Blue Jays.[13]

Oakland Athletics[edit]

On June 27, 2015, Coke signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics. He was assigned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, but was released on August 18.

Pitch selection[edit]

Coke throws mainly four-seam and two-seam fastballs. His four-seamer is thrown in the 93 to 95 miles per hour (150 to 153 km/h) range, occasionally reaching 97 miles per hour (156 km/h). The two-seamer is a shade slower, averaging 92 to 93 miles per hour (148 to 150 km/h). He mixes in a slider in the 78 to 83 miles per hour (126 to 134 km/h) range and an occasional changeup between 83 miles per hour (134 km/h) and 86 miles per hour (138 km/h).[14]


  1. ^ Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2009). "Granderson joins Yanks in three-way trade". Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kornacki, Steve (February 7, 2011). "Starter Phil Coke agrees to terms with Tigers". 
  3. ^ Beck, Jason (June 30, 2011). "Tigers move Coke to 'pen, Furbush to rotation". 
  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". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ "3/8 Coke signing official". Muskat Ramblings. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ Chicago Tribune (March 6, 2015). "Phil Coke stubborn - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ Baer, Bill (May 30, 2015). "Report: Blue Jays sign Phil Coke to a minor league deal". Retrieved May 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ Davidi, Shi (May 30, 2015). "Blue Jays sign LHP Coke to minor-league deal". Sportsnet. Retrieved May 30, 2015. 
  11. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (June 11, 2015). "Blue Jays call up reliever Phil Coke from Triple-A". Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Toronto vs. Boston 06/14/2015". June 14, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ d'Oliveira, Sean (June 22, 2015). "Phil Coke become free agent after declining minor-league option". Retrieved June 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Phil Coke PitchFX at". Retrieved August 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]