Apr 26, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke (40) looks on after walking in a run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: No Coke white flag yet, Anibal on the comeback trail, V-Mart not fun for pitchers


Detroit Tigers continue to stand behind Phil Coke, but patience likely wearing very thin – James Schmehl, MLive

It marked the third time in eight appearances Coke has given up at least one run, and the seventh time he’s put at least one runner on base. Still, the Tigers continue to exercise patience with Coke, who has allowed an on-base percentage of .421 this year.

“He still, from the dugout, is throwing 92-94 mph,” Ausmus said. “He added this cutter-slider that he gets some bad swings on. But it always seems to be one pitch.”

The Tigers are beating a dead horse holding on to Phil Coke. It’s clear he is not good and should not be on a World Series contending team. A couple of things keep him here–his salary and that he’s a lefty. Then again, he could be a placeholder until Joel Hanrahan is ready to make his Detroit debut.

Anibal throwing with cover over cut finger – Jason Beck, MLB.com

Sanchez is throwing with a covering where the blister used to be. That enables him to play catch and throw, but not with any intensity.

Sanchez has about a week left before he’s eligible to be activated from the DL, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Tigers kept him on the DL for longer than that. The way the rotation works out, they’ll need to replace him for at least two starts May 6 and 11, the latter coming the day before Sanchez can be activated.

With an off-day coming up during the following turn through the rotation, the Tigers could conceivably skip his spot if need be. If they don’t, Sanchez’s spot still wouldn’t come up until May 17 at Boston.

The Tigers are firing on all cylinders now–particularly the starters. While there is never a good time for one of the starting five to go down with an injury, it’s perhaps better when the other four are doing a great job. Still, Get Well Soon, Anibal.

Victor Martinez is toughest batter in majors to strike out – Schmehl, MLive

More astonishing? Martinez hasn’t taken a called third strike since May 21, 2013 — a streak that stretches 631 consecutive plate appearances, according to The Detroit News.

“That’s amazing,” Ausmus said when informed about Martinez’s strikeout-less stretch. “See? Now I think he’s even more remarkable. He really has been incredible.”

Wouldn’t it be great if the Tigers can announce a contract extension with V-Mart in-season, perhaps for another year or two? It’s probably not likely, but the Tigers would certainly miss his leadership and his bat if he leaves after this year. He is showing no signs of slowing down.

Tigers’ hot pitching, hitting chasing bullpen worries away – Lynn Henning, Detroit News

If you want a 44-year-old skipper to tell you his ballclub is good, he will not say it — not in words so intractable. If you want him to come down on Phil Coke, which the fan base would appreciate after Coke again had a horrible night Saturday in the Tigers’ otherwise slick 9-2 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, he will not acknowledge Coke is in trouble, as Ausmus’ predecessor, Jim Leyland, would certainly have done.

The Tigers bullpen is bad–but not that bad. And what I mean by that is when they need them to be good in close games, most times they have been. When they’ve had blow outs and the bullpen is in mop-out duty (as in the two weekend games in Kansas City) is when they struggle. Relievers should be getting outs regardless of the score–that’s their job, after all, but they seem to get the job done when the game is on the line.

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