Tigers recall Phil Coke, Hernan Perez from Triple-A Toledo

As expected, Phil Coke is back at Comerica Park this afternoon. The Tigers recalled the lefty reliever from Triple-A Toledo, making him eligible for the postseason roster without having to use an injury exemption.

Also recalled from the Mud Hens was infielder Hernan Perez, who gives Detroit some infield depth now and potentially for the postseason if Miguel Cabrera’s abdominal strain is still a problem. The moves are the first of part of a multi-stage process the Tigers are taking with September call-ups. More moves are likely Sunday morning once rosters expand, with the last batch coming after the Mud Hens season ends on Monday.

To make room, the Tigers optioned long relievers Jeremy Bonderman to Triple-A Toledo and Luke Putkonen to Class A Lakeland. Both will be recalled in the coming days once the respective minor-league seasons ends. Since Lakeland’s season ends Sunday, Putkonen can return Monday in Boston. Bonderman will have to wait another day while the Mud Hens season concludes Monday afternoon.

The Tigers optioned Coke to Toledo a week and a half ago with the express purpose of getting his pitches back in order. His six scoreless innings on five hits with a walk and nine strikeouts would suggest that he did.

His return to the Tigers bullpen adds some lefty depth that was threatening to haunt them, most recently Friday night. Though Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .235 with little to no power against lefties this year, Jim Leyland didn’t want to use Drew Smyly in the sixth inning. Thus, with the bases loaded, he turned to Al Alburquerque, who ended up walking a hitter he had struck out four times in six previous meetings.

Coke’s struggles over the last couple months were more evident against left-handed hitters, who were actually hitting for a better average (.290) off of him right-handed batters (.273). If he can reverse the trend, the Tigers will be closer to getting their bullpen back in order for the stretch drive and the postseason.

Perez joins the Tigers for his third stint this year, having spent most of July and a week in August filling in at second base for an injured Omar Infante. The well-touted second baseman of the future also can play shortstop, which gives him some utility value. Perhaps more valuable, he’s a speedster on the basepaths, having stolen 55 bases in 66 tries in the minors over the last two years.

The list of guys not called up today includes top prospect Nick Castellanos, whose situation has been speculated upon pretty much since Spring Training. Though Miguel Cabrera’s injuries and Matt Tuiasosopo’s pregame work at third base yesterday raise the possibility that the Tigers could use another outfield bat, shuffling the 25-man roster to get him up here before rosters expand was another matter — and that’s IF the Tigers actually call up Castellanos for a September stint.

11 Comments

They will go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players for the postseason, so Bondo had no shot at the postseason roster. Sad,but it was a logic move.
Putkonen deserved better, his splits a re good enough against LHB but the experience wins.

Miguel resting. Santiago at 3B

It’s just a temporary move they’ll both be back when rosters expand.

I know, but Luke lost his , slim anyway ,chance to the postseason. Bondo never had one , but it will be hard for him to realize that it is time to call it a career.

Making a mistake not calling up Castellanos.

Not a whole lot of use for long relief in the postseason.

I’m not seeing what they’d do with Castellanos if he is called up.

Experience for him for one. Also, the guy, and some guys do, might just break out when introduced at this level for a while. If you need another RHB, and it wouldn’t hurt if Miggy goes down, then you got it. he can play left against southpaws and 2E can play 3rd. If he has to sit and watch, big deal.
If he hits a late inning PH extra base hit, then bigger deal.

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