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Phil Coke attempting comeback as knuckleballer

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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.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.