SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports that lefty Phil Coke is attempting to make it back to the major leagues as a knuckleballer.
Coke, 35, spent last season with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japan Pacific League. In 23 2/3 innings, he yielded 13 runs on 30 hits and 10 walks with 16 strikeouts. In his last stint in the majors, in 2016, he pitched six innings for the Yankees and four for the Pirates.
Needless to say, the odds of Coke making it back to the majors are pretty slim, but it’s an interesting story. And you never know what could happen — one could strike lightning in a bottle.
The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.
For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.
While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”