The Detroit Tigers have optioned veteran reliever Phil Coke to Triple-A Toledo and have recalled southpaw Jose Alvarez, according to a report from Chris Iott of MLive. Coke will be recalled on Sept. 1 once the rosters expand.
Coke, 32, has been a fixture in Detroit's bullpen for most of his time since arriving in Detroit before the 2010 season. His ERA has ballooned to 5.00 over the course of 36 innings this season, prompting the Tigers to make the move. He pitched on Tuesday night in relief of Rick Porcello, and promptly surrendered a two-run double to Justin Morneau. The Twins went on to defeat the Tigers, 6-3.
The Tigers had to act fast with Coke, who was two days away from reaching five years of service time in the big leagues. Once Thursday rolled around, he would have been able to refuse a minor league assignment.
Alvarez, 24, is having a big year in Triple-A, posting a 2.79 ERA while going 8-6 over his first 20 starts. In five starts for the Tigers, he's 1-3 with a 4.62 ERA.