Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors


Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds
« Cain is Able: Gets it done on the Hill and at the Dish | Main | The Great Justin Verlander Inning-by-Inning »
Wednesday
Oct242012

Phil Coke, Not the Real Thing?

So, Jim Leyland is not admitting it but with the ongoing  headaches caused by Jose Valverde it appears that the Tigers bullpen is going the closer-by-committee route.

Batters are hitting .500

According to the Detroit News, Valverde has been working with pitching coach Jeff Jones on mechanical issues .

"Part of it was his tempo was a little bit slow and we're trying to speed that up," Jones said. "When you get in a situation like he did where he had a couple of games in a row, it affects your confidence a little bit too.

"I think he's put it behind him and we're going to the World Series and he knows he's going to be a big part of that."

For Valverde, fixing his issues is about repetition and muscle memory to solidify his motion.

"It's my leg. My leg is a little slow and now it feels all right," Valverde said.

"It's timing and everything. I worked out for Jonesy in the last two days and everything's perfect right now."

The question is does Leyland buy it?

And if he doesn't, it seems that he will be turning to his left-handed specialist, Phil Coke who has 7.1 scoreless innings this postseason including two saves against the Yankees.

But there is evidence that Coke is not a credible alternative.

Let's look at the WHIP (Walks + Hits divided by Innings Pitched), a key determinant of the effectiveness of relievers, of the relievers with at least 50 appearances.

Here are the 15 best relievers with a WHIP under 1.00:

RkPlayerWHIPGRTmGFSVIPHRERBBSOERA
1 Craig Kimbrel 0.654 63 ATL 56 42 62.2 27 7 7 14 116 1.01
2 Fernando Rodney 0.777 76 TBR 65 48 74.2 43 9 5 15 76 0.60
3 Jake McGee 0.795 69 TBR 13 0 55.1 33 13 12 11 73 1.95
4 Aroldis Chapman 0.809 68 CIN 52 38 71.2 35 13 12 23 122 1.51
5 Kenley Jansen 0.846 65 LAD 40 25 65.0 33 18 17 22 99 2.35
6 Sergio Romo 0.849 69 SFG 27 14 55.1 37 11 11 10 63 1.79
7 Casey Janssen 0.864 62 TOR 47 22 63.2 44 18 18 11 67 2.54
8 Jason Motte 0.917 67 STL 58 42 72.0 49 23 22 17 86 2.75
9 Jared Burton 0.919 64 MIN 12 5 62.0 41 21 15 16 55 2.18
10 Grant Balfour 0.924 75 OAK 34 24 74.2 41 21 21 28 72 2.53
11 Darren O'Day 0.940 69 BAL 10 0 67.0 49 17 17 14 69 2.28
12 Ryan Cook 0.941 71 OAK 23 14 73.1 42 18 17 27 80 2.09
13 Ernesto Frieri 0.985 67 TOT 51 23 66.0 35 20 17 30 98 2.32
14 Joel Peralta 0.985 76 TBR 9 2 67.0 49 28 27 17 84 3.63
15 Jon Rauch 0.988 73 NYM 22 4 57.2 45 28 23 12 42 3.59
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/23/2012.

Here are the 13 with a WHIP of 1.500 and above

RkPlayerWHIPGRTmGFSVIPHRERBBSOERA
1 Mike Dunn 1.773 60 MIA 8 1 44.0 49 31 24 29 47 4.91
2 Rhiner Cruz 1.709 52 HOU 26 0 55.0 65 38 37 29 46 6.05
3 Manny Parra 1.653 62 MIL 8 0 58.2 62 39 33 35 61 5.06
4 Phil Coke 1.648 66 DET 11 1 54.0 71 28 24 18 51 4.00
5 Clay Hensley 1.579 60 SFG 14 3 50.2 50 30 26 30 42 4.62
6 Heath Bell 1.555 73 MIA 41 19 63.2 70 38 36 29 59 5.09
7 Carlos Marmol 1.536 61 CHC 47 20 55.1 40 24 21 45 72 3.42
8 Ryan Webb 1.525 65 MIA 21 0 60.1 72 30 27 20 44 4.03
9 Jonny Venters 1.517 66 ATL 12 0 58.2 61 23 21 28 69 3.22
10 Jose Veras 1.507 72 MIL 17 1 67.0 61 29 27 40 79 3.63
11 Jamey Wright 1.507 66 LAD 22 0 67.2 72 35 28 30 54 3.72
12 Logan Ondrusek 1.500 63 CIN 20 2 54.2 51 23 21 31 39 3.46
13 Lucas Luetge 1.500 63 SEA 16 2 40.2 37 20 18 24 38 3.98
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/23/2012.

You can see that Coke had the fourth worst WHIP of all relievers with at least 50 appearances and it's not because of lack of control.

Let's take a look at Coke's ever-increasing batting average against:

YearGPAABRHBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
2008 12 52 50 1 8 2 14 .160 .192 .200 .392
2009 72 238 211 34 44 20 49 .209 .274 .393 .668
2010 74 279 244 29 67 26 53 .275 .350 .348 .699
2011 48 474 423 64 118 40 69 .279 .345 .383 .728
2012 66 245 219 28 71 18 51 .324 .375 .479 .854
5 Yrs 272 1288 1147 156 308 106 236 .269 .332 .388 .720
MLB Averages               .259 .326 .408 .734
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/23/2012.

It is not just an increasing batting average against that speaks to concerns about Coke, a quick look under-the-hood shows that the lefty struggles against right-handed batters.

SplitABRHBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
vs RHB as LHP 101 20 40 10 21 .396 .446 .604 1.050
vs LHB as LHP 118 14 31 8 30 .263 .313 .373 .685
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/24/2012.
Of course, thus far in the postseason it's been different for Coke: overall batters are hitting .154 against him with lefties and righties each hitting .154 (2-for-14 with one walk). 

If that's the pitcher that faces the Giants, you can assume that Leyland will have a Coke and a smile.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend