Phil Coke
Phil Coke on June 9, 2013.jpg
Coke with the Detroit Tigers in 2013
Born: (1982-07-19) July 19, 1982 (age 39)
Sonora, California
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
Professional debut
MLB: September 1, 2008, for the New York Yankees
NPB: April 1, 2017, for the Orix Buffaloes
Last appearance
MLB: September 26, 2016, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
NPB: 2017, for the Orix Buffaloes
MLB statistics
Win–loss record22–27
Earned run average4.19
NPB statistics
Win–loss record2–3
Earned run average4.56
Career highlights and awards

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

Baseball career


Coke attended San Joaquin Delta College. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 49th round (1,450th overall) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign.

Minor leagues

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 Yankees

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.[1] In 2009, Coke got his first World Series title after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

Detroit Tigers

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.[2]

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.[3] On June 30, after accumulating a 1–8 record, Coke was moved back to the bullpen.[4] 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.[5]

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, Coke pitched two shutout innings in Game 2 of the 2012 ALCS against the Yankees to earn a save.[6] He 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.[7] 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.[8]

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 ninth inning which, coupled with his appearances in Games 2 and 3 of the series, gave him a World Series record seven consecutive strikeouts.[9] 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.[10]

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

In March 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, receiving a non-roster invitation to spring training.[11] Coke earned a $2.25 million salary upon making the team.[12][13] 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.[14][15]

Toronto Blue Jays

On May 30, 2015, Coke signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.[16][17] On June 11, the Blue Jays purchased Coke's contract from Triple-A.[18] He took the mound for the first time with Toronto on June 14, pitching two scoreless innings in a 13–5 win over the Boston Red Sox.[19] He became a free agent again on June 22, after he declined his minor-league assignment by the Blue Jays.[20]

Oakland Athletics

On June 27, 2015, Coke signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics.[21] He was assigned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, but was released on August 18.[22]

Atlanta Braves

Coke signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves on March 11, 2016.[23] On March 26, 2016, he was released.[22]

Lancaster Barnstormers

On April 10, 2016, Coke signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.[24][25]

Return to the Yankees

On April 25, 2016, the Yankees acquired Coke from the Atlantic League, and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.[26] The Yankees promoted Coke to the major leagues on May 6.[27] He was designated for assignment on May 17.[28] On May 20, he was outrighted from the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.[29]

Pittsburgh Pirates

On September 22, 2016, the Pirates acquired Coke from the Yankees for cash considerations.[30]

Orix Buffaloes

On December 13, 2016, Coke signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.[31][32]

On December 2, 2017, he became a free agent.[33]

Acereros de Monclova

On March 22, 2018, Coke signed with the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.[34] He was released on May 4, 2018.

In August 2018, Coke underwent Tommy John surgery.[35]

Pitch selection

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).[36]

Personal life

Coke married Bobbie Brough in 2011.[37]


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  2. ^ Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2009). "Granderson joins Yanks in three-way trade". New York Yankees. Archived from the original on December 12, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
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  4. ^ Beck, Jason (June 30, 2011). "Tigers move Coke to 'pen, Furbush to rotation". Detroit Tigers. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
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  8. ^ "MLB: Detroit 8, New York Yankees 1". UPI. October 22, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Cassidy, Jack (October 29, 2012). "Phil Coke sets Tigers, MLB records in World Series". SB Nation Detroit. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  10. ^ Iott, Chris (August 21, 2013). "Detroit Tigers send Phil Coke to Triple-A Toledo to work on command, recall left-hander Jose Alvarez". MLive Media Group. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  11. ^ Iott, Chris (March 5, 2015). "Phil Coke agrees to minor league deal with Cubs: 'No bull, I'm going to miss being a Tiger'". MLive Media Group. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  12. ^ Muskat, Carrie (March 8, 2015). "Coke, Cubs finalize Minor League deal". Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  13. ^ Gonzales, Mark (March 6, 2015). "Phil Coke stingy on right-handed talk". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 31, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Gonzales, Mark (May 18, 2015). "Phil Coke loses fizz in Cubs' bullpen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
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  23. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 9, 2016). "Pitch variety key to Wisler's spring success". Atlanta Braves. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
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  30. ^ Todd, Jeff (September 22, 2016). "Pirates Acquire Phil Coke". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved June 20, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  32. ^ "オリ、ディクソンとモレルが残留 新外国人3投手も獲得". Sanspo (in Japanese). December 13, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  33. ^ "2017年度 自由契約選手". Nippon Professional Baseball 日本野球機構 (in Japanese). December 2, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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