The Tigers just announced that they’ve reached a one-year deal with Phil Coke.
Coke’s a lefty specialist that, presumably, will be paid like a lefty specialist. Of course, early in the year he was given a shot at the closer’s role as Jim Leyland cast about for replacements for Jose Valverde. Coke did poorly with that before injuring his groin. After he came back he was demoted to Triple-A Toledo for a while. Just a lost year in which he only mustered a 5.40 ERA and 30/21 K/BB ratio over 38 1/3 innings.
Coke earned $1.85 million in 2013 and was arbitration-eligible. He probably would have been non-tendered, though, so the guess is that this is a pretty cheap deal.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.