Fungoes

Monday Mankowskis: Optimism, Jackson’s Woes and Bonus Baseball Cards

PhilMankowski77This is one of those rare and delightful days of spring in which I get to flip back and forth between a Tigers West Coast game and a Wings playoff game. April in the D, indeed.

  • It’s always interesting to see how even a small winning streak can stir optimism among Tigers faithful. To wit: this past weekend’s series in Oakland. Buoyed by wins in the first two games, I was completely confident the Tigers could — would! — come back in Saturday night and Sunday games. A week prior (against the Royals at home) I had no such optimism. All in all I’m feeling good about their chances in Seattle, and not just because they’ll miss Felix Hernandez.

Continue reading

Standard
Fungoes

Tigers Today: April 2, 2010

ScorecardXSmallTigers’ Record:

0-1

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Yankees | 3:35 p.m. ET | On the air: FOX/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Brad Penny vs. A.J. Burnett

Thursday’s Results

Yankees 6 – Tigers 3

  • W: Joba Chamberlain (1-0)
  • L: Phil Coke (0-1)

Continue reading

Standard
Fungoes

Tigers’ 2011 X Factor: Phil Coke

In Phil Coke’s three-year major-league career, he’s finished 31 games and he’s started just one — the Tigers’ final game of the 2010 season. That outing could best be described as abbreviated; he threw 1.2 innings, allowing five hits, a walk and two runs.

What conclusions can we draw from this micro-sample size? Less than nothing.

That’s part of the reason Tigers fans are interested to see how Coke performs in 2011 now that he’s a member of the rotation, slotted neatly behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. That’s not to say Coke has no experience as a starter. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Coming up through the Yankees’ system in the mid-2000s, he worked predominately as a starter. From 2005-08, Coke started 77 games.

At Double-A Trenton in 2008, he started 20 games and posted a 2.51 ERA to go with his 9-4 record. That earned him a call-up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he was turned into a reliever.

Go figure.

Year Age Team Lg Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS CG IP
2005 22 Charleston SALL A 8 11 .421 5.42 24 18 0 103.0
2006 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-A 5 8 .385 3.19 27 20 1 127.0
2006 23 Charleston SALL A 0 1 .000 0.53 5 2 0 17.0
2006 23 Tampa FLOR A+ 5 7 .417 3.60 22 18 1 110.0
2007 24 Tampa FLOR A+ 7 3 .700 3.09 17 16 1 99.0
2008 25 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA 11 6 .647 2.79 37 21 1 135.2
2008 25 Trenton EL AA 9 4 .692 2.51 23 20 1 118.1
2008 25 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA 2 2 .500 4.67 14 1 0 17.1
6 Seasons 31 29 .517 3.61 125 77 3 496.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table | Generated 3/28/2011.

 

With his return to the rotation this spring, Coke posted a 3-2 record with a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings. Not shabby, but how will it play out over the long season? Lynn Henning today provided this assessment of Coke:

He looked good for much of the spring, but took some knocks late. The switch to starting is still in progress. If things don’t work out, he goes back to the bullpen, Andy Oliver moves in, and the Tigers probably strengthen their seventh-inning options. But they’ll give this experiment a full and necessary opportunity to work.

We’ll have to see what “a full and necessary opportunity” means. If Coke lasts as a starter, what’s the impact on the bullpen? Or, does it mean he’s more valuable in relief compared to the young arms the Tigers can summon to the rotation, such as Andy Oliver and/or Jacob Turner?

And it all hinges on Phil Coke. What do you think?

Standard
Fungoes

2010: The Year in Lists

2011Calendar.jpgA year ago, we were still stinging from Game 163 and not certain how the Tigers would respond to a crushing end to the 2009 season. Would they regress to 2008’s disappointment or regroup to erase the memory of the ’09 collapse?

The answer was: they’d be relevant. And that, ladies in gentlemen, is the extent of the analysis in this post. Instead of a deep dive into 2010, let’s look at the year in the form of randomly selected lists:

2010 At A Glance*

  • Record: 81-81, 3rd in American League Central, 13 games back of Minnesota
  • Days in First: 13, the last on July 10
  • Biggest Lead: 1, last on July 7
  • Farthest Behind: 15.5 on Sept. 15
  • Most Games over .500: 11, last on July 10
  • Most Games under .500: 5, last on Aug. 19
  • Longest Winning Streak: 7, June 11-18
  • Longest Losing Streak: 7, July 11-20
  • Most Runs Allowed: 15, June 9
  • Most Runs Scored: 13, Aug. 15
  • Longest Game (innings): 14, July 19
  • Times Shutout by Opponent: 10
  • Times Opponent Shutout: 5

Continue reading

Standard
Fungoes

Phil Coke: The Next C.J. Wilson?

PhilCoke.jpgIn their notes column today, Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal cover the stories emerging from the GM Meetings in Orlando. Among them is a nugget about how the Tigers see similarities between reliever-turned-starter Phil Coke and another pitcher that took a similar path:

In October, after team officials had already made up their minds about Coke, they could watch the ideal test case pitching in the postseason: Rangers lefty [C.J.] Wilson.

Like Coke, Wilson is a native Californian who made the switch to starting after enjoying success as a reliever in the majors.

As a matter of fact, Tigers scout/pitching guru Dick Egan turned in similar reports on Coke and Wilson.

“Dick Egan, who always pushed us to be interested in C.J. Wilson, always said, ‘I think this guy can start,’ ” Dombrowski recalled. “When we got Phil Coke, he said, ‘I think this guy can start.’

“As we’ve grown familiar with him, he grew into that. His minor-league numbers spoke for themselves. He’s a very durable, strong guy. Even though he’s a little stocky, he’s in good shape. He works hard. They say he can run forever. We think he can handle it. He’s got three good pitches, too.”

Sure sounds like Coke-in-the-rotation is more than a ruse. But another C.J. Wilson? That’s Sparky Anderson talk.

Standard
Fungoes

Tuesday Tananas: Fred Lynn, Ted Power and Don Draper

bananas.jpgIs it just me or were there a lot of Aug. 31 trades made back in the day? Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s it seemed that Oakland was always adding a big name at the deadline — Willie McGee, Ruben Sierra, Harold Baines. Just asking.

  • The last time the Tigers made any noise worth noting at the Aug. 31 trade deadline was in 1988 when the made two deals, acquiring outfielder Fred Lynn from the Orioles for RHP Cesar Mejia, LHP Robinson Garces and catcher Chris Hoiles. They also picked up RHP Ted Power from the Royals for LHP Mark Lee and catcher Rey Palacios. In 2004, they acquired cash considerations from the Cubs for catcher Mike Difelice.

    Continue reading

Standard
Fungoes

Tigers Today: July 26, 2010

3rdBaseline.jpgTigers’ Record:

51-46, 3rd place; 2 GB Chicago

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Rays | 7:10 p.m. ET – Tropicana Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (7-7) vs. Matt Garza (10-5)

Yesterday’s Results

Game 1: Blue Jays 5 – Tigers 3

Game 2: Tigers 6 – Blue Jays 5

Continue reading

Standard