Phil Coke Can Be Smart Addition to Marlins Bullpen


The Marlins have always had a problem with having sustained left handed pitching in the bullpen. Miami did have a lefty specialist in 2012 in Randy Choate, but traded him to the Dodgers in the Hanley Ramirez trade. Now the Marlins currently stand with left handers Mike Dunn and Dan Jennings. Dunn was very impressive this past year. However, the Marlins would love to have another quality lefty arm in that bullpen. One intriguing option is Phil Coke. Coke would mix well with Mike Dunn in Miami as Dan Jennings has yet to proven himself at the big league level.

Phil Coke who was atrocious in 2013 with an ERA over 5.00 had a great comeback season for Detroit the following year. Coke had a good workload in the Tiger bullpen, logging 58 innings and dropped his ERA to 3.88 achieving a 5-2 record. Coke has a similar attribute as Dunn, as he can also pitch to both lefties and righties. Coke also has some postseason experience. Coke was a Yankee in 2009, being the number one lefty arm out the world champion’s bullpen that year. With Detroit in 2012, he pitched to a 0.84 ERA, allowing only 1 earned run and 13 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings, helping the Tigers win the American League pennant.

In 2014, the Marlins bullpen, who struggled at times early on in the season, made tremendous strides. The group posted a 2.69 ERA after the all-star break which was the best in the majors. Overall they pitched to a 3.33 ERA which became the top mark in franchise history. They were ranked 6th in the national league in ERA and fell one win short of matching a club record in bullpen wins. Steve Cishek led the charge as the team’s closer, but had help with great seasons from Bryan Morris, A.J. Ramos, and the well liked Sam Dyson.

If the Marlins can build a trio of a 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys, the bullpen can be big part in helping Miami secure a playoff spot next season. With Cishek set to close out ballgames for the fish, Coke can be an addition and put into a 7th or 8th inning role. The Kansas City Royals had such a method, and it turned out great as their trio of Herrera, Davis, and Holland, helped them make the World Series last season.