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

Phil Coke
Phil Coke on June 9, 2013.jpg
Coke with the Detroit Tigers in 2013
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1982-07-19) July 19, 1982 (age 37)
Sonora, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Professional debut
MLB: September 1, 2008, for the New York Yankees
NPB: April 1, 2017, for the Orix Buffaloes
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record22–27
Earned run average4.19
NPB statistics
(through September 29, 2017)
Win–loss record2–3
Earned run average4.56
Career highlights and awards

Baseball careerEdit


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 leaguesEdit

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 earned run average (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 YankeesEdit

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 TigersEdit

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 season in which he posted a 4.00 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP, Coke was the Tiger's 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 surrendered seven runs in his previous two appearances, Phil pitched two shutout innings in Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS against the Yankees to earn a save, then saved Game 3 by striking out Raúl Ibañez on a 3–2 slider to preserve a 2–1 victory after allowing back-to-back two-out singles. In Game 4, Coke pitched two perfect innings to finish off the Tigers' 8–1 win over his former team and send Detroit to the World Series for the first time in six years.

In the 2012 World Series, Coke pitched ​3 13 innings, allowing one run, but that run came in the top of the 10th inning of Game 4 and was the game and series winner for the 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 CubsEdit

In March 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, receiving a non-roster invitation to spring training.[7] Coke earned a $2.25 million salary upon making the team.[8][9] Coke had a 6.30 ERA in 16 appearances, allowing left-handed batters to hit .304 (7-for-23) against him. He was designated for assignment by the Cubs on May 18, and released by the club on May 26.[10][11]

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

On May 30, 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.[12][13] On June 11, the Blue Jays purchased Coke's contract from Triple-A.[14] 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.[15] He became a free agent again on June 22, after he declined his minor-league assignment by the Blue Jays.[16]

Oakland AthleticsEdit

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.

Atlanta BravesEdit

Coke signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves on March 11, 2016.[17] On March 26, 2016, he was released.

Lancaster BarnstormersEdit

On April 10, 2016, Coke signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.[18][19]

Return to the YankeesEdit

On April 25, 2016, the Yankees acquired Coke from the Atlantic League, and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.[20] The Yankees promoted Coke to the major leagues on May 6.[21] He was designated for assignment on May 17. On May 21, he was outrighted from the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Pittsburgh PiratesEdit

On September 22, 2016, the Pirates acquired Coke from the Yankees for cash considerations.

Orix BuffaloesEdit

On December 13, 2016, Coke signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.[22][23]

On December 2, 2017, he became a free agent.[24]

Acereros de MonclovaEdit

On March 22, 2018, Coke signed with the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.[25] He was released on May 4, 2018.

Pitch selectionEdit

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).[26]


  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. ^ Iott, Chris (March 5, 2015). "Phil Coke agrees to minor league deal with Cubs: 'No bull, I'm going to miss being a Tiger'". Booth Newspapers. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Muskat, Carrie (March 8, 2015). "Coke, Cubs finalize Minor League deal". Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  9. ^ Chicago Tribune (March 6, 2015). "Phil Coke stubborn – Chicago Tribune". Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Gonzales, Mark (May 18, 2015). "Phil Coke loses fizz in Cubs' bullpen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  11. ^ "Phil Coke back in AL with Toronto". The Union Democrat. June 12, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  12. ^ Baer, Bill (May 30, 2015). "Report: Blue Jays sign Phil Coke to a minor league deal". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  13. ^ Davidi, Shi (May 30, 2015). "Blue Jays sign LHP Coke to minor-league deal". Sportsnet. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  14. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (June 11, 2015). "Blue Jays call up reliever Phil Coke from Triple-A". Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  15. ^ "Toronto vs. Boston 06/14/2015". June 14, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  16. ^ d'Oliveira, Sean (June 22, 2015). "Phil Coke become free agent after declining minor-league option". Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  17. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 9, 2016). "Pitch variety key to Wisler's spring success". Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  18. ^ Adams, Steve (April 11, 2016). "Minor MLB Transactions: 4/11/16". Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  19. ^ STEVE NAVAROLI – LNP CORRESPONDENT (April 14, 2016). "Lancaster Barnstormers: Phil Coke brings major league fire, experience to lineup". LancasterOnline. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  20. ^ Mike Axisa. "Yankees bring back Phil Coke, send him to Triple-A". River Avenue Blues. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "Tuolumne County native Phil Coke back in major leagues". The Union Democrat. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  22. ^ Todd, Jeff (December 13, 2016). "Minor MLB Transactions: 12/13/16". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "オリ、ディクソンとモレルが残留 新外国人3投手も獲得". (in Japanese). December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  24. ^ "2017年度 自由契約選手". 日本野球機構 (in Japanese). December 2, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  25. ^ "Phil Coke el séptimo extranjero de la Furia" (in Spanish). Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Phil Coke PitchFX at". Retrieved August 25, 2014.

External linksEdit