Tigers receive mixed news on Coke, Rondon
MIAMI -- The news was mixed for the Tigers on their two injured relievers and their chances to be ready for the postseason. While Phil Coke will miss this weekend's series against the Marlins after being diagnosed with more inflammation in the flexor area of his forearm, the Tigers are taking a wait-and-see approach with Bruce Rondon.
"I'm going to wait and see how he's doing, and then we'll go from there," manager Jim Leyland said Friday afternoon.
Coke returned to Detroit for an MRI exam and a visit with Dr. Stephen Lemos, who found inflammation. Rondon, who felt a second bout of tenderness in his elbow Wednesday after a dominant return Tuesday in Minnesota, was in the Tigers clubhouse without special treatment Friday.
How both come out of the weekend will have a huge impact on Detroit's bullpen for the AL Division Series. Coke was expected to be the second left-hander in the bullpen alongside Drew Smyly. If he can't go, Leyland and team officials have to decide whether it's worth carrying Jose Alvarez or Darin Downs as a second lefty, or whether they'd prefer another righty.
Rondon has the potential to be an X-factor for the Tigers, capable of notching a strikeout in clutch situations, like Al Alburquerque two years ago. If Rondon is sidelined, Alburquerque's role likely would increase tremendously.