According to Mark Feinstand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees have acquired LHP Phil Coke from the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. He will report to Triple-A Scranton to join former Yankee teammate Nick Swisher.
In 2008 and 2009, Coke made 84 appearances with the Yankees posting a 5-3 record and 3.74 ERA. The former Yankee draft pick sported 5.68 ERA for the Blue Jays and Cubs last year.
Coke spent the 2015 season pitching in 16 games for the Chicago Cubs and two games with the Toronto Blue Jays. His last full season came in 2014 with the Detroit Tigers, when he appeared in 62 games with a 3.88 ERA.
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He came up through the Yankees’ system in 2008 and was part of the 2009 World Series Champion team. During his two-year stint with the Yankees, Coke compiled a 5-3 record with a 3.74 ERA, while striking out 63 batters in 74.2 innings.
After being traded to Detroit for Curtis Granderson, Coke struggled. In five seasons with the Tigers, Coke went 17-24 with a 4.25 ERA. His WHIP was 1.523 over 323.2 innings in 299 games.
He signed with the Atlanta Braves this offseason, but was let go before the regular season began. He was cut by Atlanta to make room for some of the younger relievers.
Coke gave up two earned runs in four innings for Lancaster in 2016. He had given up three runs total before being picked up by the Yankees.
In order to make it up to the Yankees, he needs to pitch well and make the 40-man roster. It could happen with all of the injuries at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Currently, the Yankees have only two lefty relievers in the bullpen with closer Andrew Miller and Chasen Shreve. Coke could give the Yankees some depth in an already solid bullpen, as it would give Miller and Dellin Betances some nights off.
If the move doesn’t work, the Yankees can cut him loose without any penalty.