The Detroit Tigers announced relief pitcher Phil Coke would be activated from the 15-Day disabled list on Saturday, and will be available for their game with the Cleveland Indians. Coke was originally placed on the DL April 26 with a groin strain.
To make room on the 25 man roster, Luke Putkonen was optioned to Triple-A Toledo.
Before suffering the groin injury, Coke was 0-3 with one save and an 8.31 ERA over nine appearances. While rehabbing with the Mud Hens, the 30 year old was credited with a win, allowing two hits, walking one, in a pair of scoreless one inning stints.
Discussing Putkonen's demotion, Jim Leyland called the 27 year old left-hander a big league pitcher:
"Putkonen did a terrific job for us in Houston. I think Putkonen’s a big-league pitcher right now, and I told him that. He’s a big-league pitcher that’s going to be pitching in the minor leagues. But don’t take anything for granted, go down and work hard, because he made a good impression here."
In his second tour of duty with the Tigers, Putkonen picked up his first career win pitching the final 2 1/3 innings of the Tigers' 14 inning marathon with the Astros on May 2. Overall, Putkonen did not allow a hit or run, striking out four in two appearances over 2 2/3 innings.
As well as the Tigers' bullpen has been performing of late, no one was truly deserving of a demotion. But Coke having been deemed ready, Putkonen was a victim of numbers. Odds are good Putkonen will be be back in Detroit before the season is out.