Coke to DL, Wilk called up, Oliver starting Saturday

Phil Coke’s ill-fated step coming off the mound Monday night will cost him at least the next couple weeks. It will also push prospect Andy Oliver into the Tigers rotation.

The team knew enough Tuesday morning to make a roster, placing Coke on the 15-day disabled list with a bone bruise in his right foot. Detroit purchased the contract of lefty Adam Wilk from Triple-A Toledo to take his place for now as an extra reliever, giving the Tigers an eight-man bullpen for the next four days until Coke’s rotation spot comes back around Saturday.

The Tigers took the mystery out of that spot quickly by announcing they’ll recall Oliver from Toledo to make the start Saturday night against the Red Sox at Comerica Park. He’s expected to then stick in the rotation to fill the spot the following weekend at Chicago against the White Sox.

Coke suffered the injury when he tried to chase down Ben Zobrist’s bunt attempt in the fourth inning Monday night. Though the intiial diagnosis was an ankle injury, a later exam revealed an extra bone in Coke’s foot, the left-hander said after the game. It collided with another bone in his foot when he stepped awkwardly on the cutout between the mound and home plate.

Coke had no idea how long it would need to heal, guessing it would be day-to-day. A follow-up diagnosis clearly suggested longer than that, though the Tigers didn’t announce a timetable for recovery when they announced the roster moves Tuesday morning.

Coke owns a 1-5 record and 3.81 ERA, but owns a 2.89 ERA in five May outings along with a .238 opposing batting average. He’s winless since April 14 through a combination of run support and bullpen woes.

Wilk is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA in eight starts at Toledo, but the Tigers have seen the 23-year-old as a relief prospect ever since he made an impression in Spring Training. He’ll give the Tigers a third lefty reliever for the time being, joining lefty specialist Daniel Schlereth and long man Charlie Furbush, whose 3 2/3 scoreless innings in Coke’s place earned him his first Major League win Monday.

Oliver and Furbush had been viewed as the Tigers’ best two starting prospects at Toledo, but with different styles. Oliver has a 4-3 record and 3.26 ERA in eight starts for the Mud Hens, striking out 48 batters over 49 2/3 innings while showing the ability to get quick outs and work deep into games.

Oliver went 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts for the Tigers last June and July, filling a rotation spot after Rick Porcello was sent down until just after the All-Star break to work through a sophomore slump. Oliver’s success led to speculation on when he might return to Detroit, but the success of the Tigers’ current startesr ensured that his path was blocked.

The Tigers did not say what the roster move will be to make room for Oliver when he’s recalled. To make room for Wilk on the 40-man roster, Detroit designated right-handed reliever Robbie Weinhardt for assignment. The 25-year-old sinkerballer was briefly up with the big club in April, but has struggled at Toledo. Detroit will wait to see if he clears waivers and can have his contract outrighted to the Mud Hens.

9 Comments

WHATTTT! Outrighting Weinhardt? What are they thinking! Here is an alternative: designate Enrique Gonzales for assignment. Why keep an older, ineffective reliever and pretty much expose a young sinker baller?

And why not start Furbush on Saturday? You don’t need to stretch him out, he has been starting all year at Toledo.

Makes no sense to me.

Here’s hoping Oliver can get some calls from the umpires this go-around. The corners were non-existent for him last year, it seemed. I can’t recall another pitcher being behind 2-0 in the count as much as Andy was, and he paid. Unfortunately, his first opponent is the Red Sox so I think those corners will be missing again.
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It looks like the Mud Hens are coming home to roost. Happened fast this year. No excuses, every team has injuries.
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Does anyone think Cabrera, Martinez, and Peralta hitting 3-4-5 could match what the Twins did with Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer? Throw in Boesch as Kubel and Santiago to make some things happen. I’ve seen enough of Sizemore for now.

I think this is an opportunity for DD to showcase 3 aspiring LHP. With Thomas and Coke out (no way they are so dense as to bring Thomas back) they now have a chance to show off the the 3 YOUNG soupthpaw starters. One of them is going to go in a trade packaged with with a guy like Raburn or, alas, Wells.
Weinhardt had lost his way. I don’t have much faith in Gonzalez either. He may not stay long.
Schlereth better start producing.

Today’s lineup once again does not feature Ramon Santiago.
What does this guy have to do to get playing time/
I remember when Infante was here and got very little respect from Leyland, now Santiago seems to have taken over that role. This guy certainly deserves to play more than he does.

Oh yeah: The lineup appears to be:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Don Kelly, 3B
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Andy Dirks, LF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Scott Sizemore, 2B

With all the shuttling going on between Motown and Toledo let’s hope one name that doesn’t come up is Cale Iorg.
He’s not hitting and he commits an error every 3 games –has 13 errors on the season so far. What’s all this I hear about his golden glove?
This team would be better off with Ramon at short and Peralta on 3rd.

Saw Iorg on Friday night. I can see what they see in him defensively, nice range, strong arm. Errors do not tell the whole story… how is his range, etc.
That said, his swing needs a lot of work.
Peralata has been a pleasant surprise anyway, he has really solidified SS. If we needed a SS from the minors, Worth is closer than Iorg.

While they’re over on the other thread debating the relative merits of Leyland’s managing, we’re getting a good example of it on this thread. And that would be the Santiago case; darned good ballplayer that doesn’t get near enough PT. I’d play him at secondbase and put an end to the revolving door that the position has become. Peralta’s okay at short, but I’d get Kelly a lot more starts at thirdbase. Inge and Raburn can start against LHers. But my main issue here is PT for Santiago.

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