Coke, 32, made the club out of the spring after inking a minor league deal. His contract provided for a $2.25MM big league salary. Thus far, Coke has not managed to keep the runs off of the board with Chicago, permitting seven earned runs over 10 frames.
He does, however, carry more promising peripherals: he has struck out nine and walked three (two intentionally), and carries a robust 63.6% groundball rate. Coke’s fastball velocity is down nearly a tick and a half from last year’s average, but still checks in at a healthy 92.4 mph.
It isn’t hard to see why the Cubs decided to designate Coke, as the club still features three other lefties on its active roster. The re-emergence of James Russell and strong early strikeout numbers out of Zac Rosscup — combined with the availability of swingman Travis Wood — likely precipitated the move. It seems likely, though, that Coke will prove appealing to another big league club.