Cubs to designate reliever Phil Coke for assignment

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The Cubs are set to designate left-handed reliever Phil Coke for assignment, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com.

The move is expected to be made official tomorrow. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com writes that left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will take Coke’s place on the active roster. The Cubs are also expected to option right-hander Brian Schlitter to Triple-A Iowa and call up outfielder Junior Lake.

And so, the Cubs will end up paying $2.25 million to Coke for a 6.30 ERA over 16 appearances. For that kind of money, the Cubs could have bought the world a coke. Sorry, I promise I won’t make any more “Mad Men” references this evening.

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.