2010 TigsTown Player Capsule: Phil Coke

Ready to take a look back at the performers of 2010 and what's in store for them in 2011? Head inside to read the 2010 player capsules! Phil Coke emerged as one of the team's most reliable relievers in 2010, but he'll have a whole new challenge in 2011.

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

IP/G

ERA+

K:BB

HR/FB%

BAbip

0.87

112

2.04

2.4%

.339


What It All Means

Succinctly, Phil Coke was the Tigers' most reliable reliever in 2010 outside of closer Jose Valverde. Coke was reliable all season long, despite the ups and downs of the team, and the various roles he was needed to fill, especially as injuries in the bullpen mounted. Coke's ERA was above average, he struck out more than double what he walked, and while he likely got lucky on allowing only two home runs, his BAbip was equally unlucky, to the extent that his FIP and xFIP were more than a full run apart (based largely on the home run swing that xFIP expects to see.

What Does the Future Hold

Coke would be returning to the team as one of the team's top relievers, that is, if it wasn't decided at the end of the 2010 season that they would move him to the rotation. Coke came up through the minors as a starter and was only converted to a relief role midway into 2008 once he got moved up to Triple-A. Coke had success as a starter in the minors, so it's not unreasonable to expect or hope for him to have similar success as a big league starter. But, the reality is that he has yet to be a starter against big league hitters, averaged less than an inning per appearance last year, and has only pitched more than two innings at the big league level exactly once, when he went 2 2/3 innings for the Yankees in a September 2008 game in the second game of a doubleheader. So, while Coke has proven himself to be a reliable reliever, he has yet to prove himself to be reliable starter in the big leagues, which leaves the rotation with one big question mark in it until Coke can go out and prove he can have similar success as a starter.