5:15pm: Coke did not receive an invite to Major League Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Coke began the 2015 campaign with the Cubs but found himself designated for assignment and subsequently released after yielding seven earned runs in 10 innings with the club. Coke latched on with the Blue Jays on a minor league deal but pitched just 2 2/3 innings before the club attempted to option him to Triple-A Buffalo. Coke, as a player with with more than five years of service time, had the right to decline the optional assignment and did so in favor of free agency. He signed a new minor league deal with Oakland after that but surrendered 16 runs in 14 2/3 innings with their Triple-A affiliate and didn’t force his way onto the club’s big league roster.
While Coke clearly had a down year in 2015, he’s a season removed from a 3.88 ERA across 58 innings with the Tigers and entered the 2015 campaign with a lifetime 4.16 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. His ground-ball rate has steadily increased throughout his career, topping 55 percent in each of the past two seasons, and his heater checked in at a strong average of 93 mph in 2015. Coke has held lefties to a .239/.298/.356 batting line throughout his career and will look to work his way into an Atlanta bullpen that also features lefty options in the form of Ian Krol (his former Tigers teammate), Matt Marksberry, Alex Torres and Rule 5 pick Evan Rutckyj.