Injured TigersPhil Coke and Magglio Ordonez both completed their first rehab assignments tonight. Both started for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre -- Ordonez started in right field and Coke started on the mound for the Mud Hens.
Ordonez, in his normal number three spot in the lineup, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout before being lifted for Ryan Strieby in the sixth inning. There did not appear to be any set backs with him during his six innings.
Phil Coke also worked into the sixth inning, 5.1 innings exactly, allowing eight hits and three runs. He also struck out six batters opposite two walks. Coke did not register a decision in the outing.
The Mud Hens wound up losing, 4-3, in walk-off fashion in the ninth.
Phil Coke is expected to have his normal rest between start and rejoin the Tigers for next Wednesday's game (June 8). Ordonez will remain with Toledo throughout the weekend and rejoin the Tigers by Monday.
Coke's plan is to return to the Tigers next Wednesday (June 8). This would give him the usual rest in between starts and bring him back to finish the Tigers' series against the Rangers. Detroit's starter on Friday night will be Andy Oliver, who went six innings and gave up three earned runs on May 29 against the Red Sox.
Ordonez is hoping to return to the Tigers as early as Monday. His plan is to play with Toledo this weekend and go from there. Assuming his ankle is feeling fine after playing in a few games, Ordonez could be activated from the DL in time for the Rangers series.
The Detroit Tigers didn’t waste much time in addressing the question of whether or not to put Phil Coke on the disabled list. Coke was placed on the DL Tuesday morning and Adam Wilk was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take his place.
Furthermore, the Tigers announced that Andy Oliver would be called up to take Coke’s spot in the rotation and will start on Saturday. Oliver pitched for the Mud Hens on Tuesday, which wouldn’t have matched up with that schedule, but was pulled from his start after three innings. That presumably keeps his pitch count down and keeps him available for Saturday.
Coke suffered a bone bruise in the fourth inning of Monday’s 6-3 win over the Rays and was on crutches after the game. At the time, Coke’s status looked day-to-day, but making his next start seemed to be doubtful.
To make room for Wilk on the Tigers’ 40-man roster, reliever Robbie Weinhardt was designated for assignment. After showing promise throughout his minor league career and in his early major league appearances, Weinhardt appeared to struggle with his sinker and became very hittable.
In four appearances with Detroit this season, he compiled a 10.80 ERA and allowed four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, Weinhardt hasn’t shown much with the Mud Hens either. In 13 appearances, he’s allowed 18 runs (15 earned) and 17 hits in 15 1/3 innings.
Wilk was one of the Tigers’ last cuts in Spring Training, staying alive for a long relief role until almost the very end. The left-hander compiled a 3-4 record and 3.86 ERA in eight starts with the Mud Hens this season. He isn’t a strikeout pitcher as his 32 Ks in 49 innings would indicate.
MLB.com’s Jason Beck implied that Wilk’s stay with the Tigers would be a short one. That makes sense, given that Charlie Furbush already took Brad Thomas’ spot in the bullpen and Oliver would fill in for Coke. Presumably, Wilk will return to Toledo when Oliver is called up on Saturday. In the meantime, however, he provides the bullpen with some more depth as the Tigers have to follow up Tuesday night’s game with a matinee on Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the season, there's been a question as to whether the Detroit Tigers would stick with Phil Coke in the starting rotation or inevitably move him back to the bullpen. For the time being, injury may have answered that question for the team.
Coke left Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning after suffering an injury to his right ankle. The injury occurred as Coke lunged off the mound while trying to field a bunt by the Rays' Ben Zobrist. The ball rolled to third base for an infield hit, and Coke immediately began hobbling. (You can watch the play here.)
"It's basically a bone bruise," Coke said. "Basically, two bones, there was a little separation and then they came back together real hard and bruised the space in between them."
Coke went on to say that the infield grass gave way under his feet as he charged off the mound. He also admitted to being caught by surprise by Zobrist's bunt, as he was to refocus after walking the previous batter, B.J. Upton.
The injury was classified as a bone bruise, which is certainly better than any kind of break or tear, as Coke himself pointed out. But it wasn't clear as to whether or not the injury would require Coke to be placed on the disabled list. At the very least, however, missing his next start looks like a real possibility.
The Tigers seem to have eyed Coke as a starter ever since acquiring him from the Yankees in 2009. Yet he was their best reliever last year, and the bullpen has been a frequent trouble spot for Detroit this season. With the recently recalled Charlie Furbush (who picked up the win in relief of Coke on Monday) and Andy Oliver waiting in Toledo, reinforcements for the starting rotation are definitely on hand.