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.