KC Royals Rumors: Phil Coke Could Add Depth To Bullpen


KC Royals rumors are new every day, and now one of the latest is that they could possibly land southpaw reliever Phil Coke.

The 32-year-old, who spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers, also has pitched for the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs released him Tuesday according to mlbtraderumors.com.

Steve Adams, from MLB Trade Rumors,  reported that Chris Cotillo of SB Nation broke the news that Coke would be released after posting a 6.30 ERA in 10 innings pitched.

Adams reported three teams have been linked to rumors involving Coke. Although the Texas Rangers appear to be the front-runner, the Miami Marlins and Royals were mentioned as potential suitors as well.

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Although 2015 has not been kind to Coke, he has put together a solid resume as a middle and late-reliever, most notably with Detroit.

His first and last seasons with the Tigers were his best, posting a 7-5 record and 3.76 ERA in 2010, and a 5-2 record with a 3.88 ERA last season.

His career numbers are not staggering (17-24, 4.21 ERA) but he is known around the league as a bulldog, and is tough against left-handed hitters.

At times in Detroit, he was called upon to pitch in situations he really should not have, such as long relief and closing out ball games.

Although he has faced more right-handed batters than left-handed in his career (957 to 810), he has had much better success against lefties. Right-handed batters have a .305/.377/.488 slash as opposed to lefties who have compiled a meager .245/.298./.353 mark.

The Royals bullpen has been the best in baseball this season, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some help. LHP Brandon Finnegan has had some time in the Big Leagues, but is currently in Omaha working on becoming a starter according to The KC Star’s Andy McCullough.

Franklin Morales is the only left-handed reliever now on the team. While he has been solid (3.54 ERA, 12/4-K/BB ratio, 0.89 WHIP), it wouldn’t hurt to have another lefty as insurance.

Joe Blanton, who was called up last week and has thrown just seven innings, could be the odd man out if Coke signed with KC. Also, with Luke Hochever’s injury history, there is no guarantee he won’t head to the Disabled List once again.

Starting pitching is certainly more of a concern than relief at this point, but if Coke can improve an already stellar pen, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to sign him. His guaranteed salary of $2.25 million is a little on the high side, but workable.

Adams reported that Coke’s fastball velocity is still at a healthy 93-MPH, and he produced a ground ball rate of 63.6 percent, great for inducing double plays when coming in the game with runners on base.

So, KC fans, what are your thoughts? Do you want to see Coke in a Royals’ uniform?

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