Phil Coke wins spot on Cubs’ Opening Day roster

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This day has mostly been about who will not be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, but it was announced this evening that veteran reliever Phil Coke has earned a spot on the team.

Coke, a non-roster invitee this spring, has been unscored upon in nine Cactus League appearances while posting a 6/2 K/BB ratio over 8 1/3 innings. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com notes that he will receive a $2.25 million base salary now that he has made the team.

Coke is coming off a 3.88 ERA and 41/20 K/BB ratio in 58 innings over 62 appearances last season with Detroit. He has held left-handed batters to a .243/.297/.352 batting line in the majors and will likely be used in a specialist role with Chicago.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.