|Detroit Tigers – No. 40|
July 19, 1982 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 1, 2008 for the New York Yankees|
(through April 22, 2014)
|Earned run average||4.28|
|Career highlights and awards|
Phillip "Phil" Douglas Coke (born July 19, 1982) is an American professional baseball left-handed pitcher with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the New York 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.
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.
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
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. After getting Jayson Nix to pop out to Prince Fielder for the final out of the game, Coke spiked his glove in celebration as his teammates stormed the field.
In the 2012 World Series, Coke pitched 3 1⁄3 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 2⁄3 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 1⁄3 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
- By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com. "Granderson joins Yanks in three-way trade | yankees.com: News". Newyork.yankees.mlb.com. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- Starter Phil Coke agrees to terms with Tigers MLive.com February 7, 2011
- Tigers move Coke to 'pen, Furbush to rotation MLB.com June 30, 2011
- Dierkes, Tim (January 16, 2012). "Players Avoiding Arbitration: Monday". MLBTradeRumors.
- Cassidy, Jack (2012-10-29). "Phil Coke sets Tigers, MLB records in World Series". SBNation Detroit. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
- Iott, Chris (2013-08-21). "Detroit Tigers send Phil Coke to Triple-A Toledo to work on command, recall left-hander Jose Alvarez". mlive.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)