Tigers place Phil Coke on DL, call up Ortega

For the second time in a week and a half, the Tigers have had to shelve a veteran reliever with an injury. In Phil Coke’s case, however, the injury isn’t to the arm.

Much like with Octavio Dotel, the Tigers tried to wait on Coke, who has been battling a left groin strain for nearly a week. When his latest throwing session Tuesday didn’t go as hoped, the Tigers placed the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list.

The move is retroactive to April 26, the day after he took the extra-inning loss to the Royals last Thursday.

To take his place in the bullpen, Detroit recalled right-handed reliever Jose Ortega from Triple-A Toledo. Filling his spot in the bullpen has already proven more complicated.

Drew Smyly, the starting candidate turned long reliever, has transitioned to setup work to fill the void in lefty relief, including back-to-back eighth-inning appearances the last two nights. Ortega essentially fills the long relief role and lets manager Jim Leyland focus Smyly on the late innings alongside fellow southpaw Darin Downs.

Neither Smyly nor Downs, obviously, have the experience of Coke, the primary left-hander in Detroit’s bullpen for most of the last three seasons. Coke felt the groin strain in his last outing Thursday, when he walked in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning.

In the days since, Coke has tried to get back to action, only to find himself unable to pitch pain-free. The latest effort came Tuesday during batting practice, when Coke tried to throw off flat ground. He walked back to the clubhouse with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and didn’t come back out.

The 24-year-old Ortega made an impression in Spring Training and has borderline dominant stats out of the bullpen at Toledo, allowing an unearned run on five hits over 14 innings with seven walks and 19 strikeouts.

19 Comments

well good thing JL hasn’t played darin since the 25th and he is likely rusty now. Darin has been lights out this year – and he’s hard on righties (557 ops) – I for one am looking forward to this opportunity for darin.

They dont have the experience but they do have the tools that Coke not

Wagned. Avisail recalled from DL optioned to AAA

Hopefully Avila starts to climb out of it. 3 RBIs are a tad ridiculous.
Did read that Mr Tiger was tutoring him.
Also noticed his HR was very Miggy like in that his front foot hardly moved at all. I was actually quite surprised that he could generate that much off-field power with that swing. This guy has potential as a good extra base hitter. I hope he can tap it again.

When AA was going strong in 2011, he had alot of opposite hits and generated alot of power. He has become very jumpy at the plate and has mastered the “rolled over” grounder to 2nd. He needs to continue to let the ball get deep and keep his feet quiet. If he does not that, he might return to form. He has a very compact swing.
.
— Bob

I’ve been wondering about Ortega. Actually Kenny Faulk ( a LHP) has an unblemished record as well down there.
Ortega is another one of those guys with an incredible arm. Command notwithstanding. Would not be surprised if we see Brayan Villarael dealt. I actually would encourage that. Is he injured now El Tigre?
I have found the bullpen usage to be a bit mysterious as well. However, they have been effective and JL seems to be making the right decisions. Not sure of so much rest for Rondon and downs though. Doesn’t seem practical nor does it seem “smart”.

Villareal talked to Venezuelan TV the day he was optioned and said that he was ok with the trip to Toledo because he needs to fix some mechanical issues. He pitched on april 26th and no more. But he is not on DL

2E, Peña and Santiago.

Santiago…………new guy? Ramon doesn’t get much time anymore.

-18 OPS+ on the year (19PAs) he’s probably going to be the next to go – worth injury/lack of performance in AAA == only reason he is still here.

Rich, are you going to the Nat/Tiger games next week?

Highly likely to be the Wednesday game, Greg. I haven’t bought my tickets yet. I’ll probably get good seats for this once in a blue moon appearance by the Tigers in Washington. I’ll keep you posted. You do the same.

Brian Dozier 2B, Jamey Carroll 3B, Josh Willingham DH, Justin Morneau 1B, Ryan Doumit C, Chris Parmelee RF, Oswaldo Arcia LF, Aaron Hicks CF, Pedro Florimon SS.

No Mauer huh?

Day game after night game.

I still say that Darin Downs era doesn’t really represent his true mediocrity. A relief pitcher by definition needs to help or get the previous pitcher out of trouble. Darin has allows nearly 70% of his inherited runners to score. I think he’s okay if he gets a lean inning, but if he is going to be a situational lefty he needs to be able to come in and get the lefties out and not allow the inherited runners to score.

i knew there was something, because everything else looks gravy.

It is not only him, 63% ( he was at 40% before the GS)
Dotel: 60%
Al2: 43%
Coke, 20%

No it’s not only him…..but he’s bad, Dotel was worse.

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