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Friday, May 10, 2013

Coke set to come off DL; Putkonen sent down to clear space

DETROIT — It was never supposed to take as long as it did to heal, so it was no surprise that Phil Coke’s stint on the disabled list with a strained groin ended right at the 15-day minimum.

He will be recalled from his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Saturday, and reinstated to the active roster. He went on the DL on April 26.

Right-hander Luke Putkonen was optioned to Toledo after Friday’s game to make room for him on the roster.

“We got one of our veteran lefties back, and of course these guys (the current opponent, the Cleveland Indians) got a lot of lefties, switch hitters. So that’s a good thing,” said manager Jim Leyland of the move.

Coke was 1-0 after two scoreless outings of an inning each in Toledo, allowing two hits and a walk.

For Putkonen, it’s a tough-luck demotion, especially since it came at the end of his 27th birthday. He was 1-0 with the Tigers, and did not allow a hit or a run in 2 2/3 innings of work over two appearances.

“It’s unfortunate that when something like this happens, somebody’s got to go down,” Leyland said.

“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.”

Putkonen was 1-0 with a 2.26 ERA in eight appearances with the Mud Hens before his call-up.


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