In the first big news of the Tigers "off-season", Jim Leyland announced that Phil Coke will join the starting rotation next year. The 27-year-old southpaw will get his first start for the Tigers today but that's because because none of their regular starters are available. He is not expected to pitch more than two or three innings this time. Next year, the plan is for him to be a full-time starter.
Coke will be the sole lefty in the rotation behind Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. Armando Galarraga is the leading contender for the fift spot. The move indicates two things. First, Jeremy Bonderman is not likely to be back next year which is not a surprise. It also suggests that they probably won't pursue a starting pitcher during the off-season. Instead, we can expect them to focus on hitters and relievers.