Injured fielding a bunt, Tigers starter Phil Coke placed on DL

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Phil Coke left yesterday’s start after injuring his foot fielding a Ben Zobrist bunt and today the Tigers left-hander was placed on the disabled list.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Detroit will call up prospect Andy Oliver to take Coke’s turn in the rotation Saturday, but in the meantime they’ve added left-hander Adam Wilk to the roster as an extra reliever.

Coke had been doing pretty well in his move to the rotation after three seasons as a full-time reliever, posting a 3.81 ERA in 52 innings, although his 1-5 record isn’t pretty and he’s managed only 5.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Oliver, who missed a start at Triple-A earlier this season after he hurt his hand playing with a slingshot (seriously), ranked as a top-100 prospect according to Baseball America and has a 3.26 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 50 innings at Triple-A.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.