Phil Coke activated off 15-day DL

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers optioned Luke Putnoken to Triple-A to clear room for Coke.

The Detroit Tigers have activated relief pitcher Phil Coke off the 15-day disabled list, clearing room for the veteran by optioning Luke Putkonen to Triple-A Toledo.

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The team originally placed Coke on the DL with a groin strain on April 26. The lefty made two minor-league rehab appearances before returning to the team, tossing a pair of scoreless innings. Coke is expected to be available to pitch for the Tigers on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.

Coke struggled in his first nine appearances in relief this season, as he currently owns an 8.31 ERA. The relief pitcher is still missing bats, but is struggling with walks, as he issued five free passes in 8.2 innings. Coke is due to start stranding more runners, as his current 43.1% LOB% is 24 percent his below career average mark.

Putkonen impressed the Tigers during his stint with the team, and will likely receive another call-up to the big leagues at some point during the season. The 27 year-old made two appearances for Detroit, tossing 2.2 scoreless innings while striking out four hitters.

The Tigers have an abundance of left-handed relief pitchers, which likely cost Putkonen his spot on the roster. Drew Smyly and Darin Downs both throw left-handed and the two pitches have also pitched effectively this season. With Coke returning to the team, Detroit did not want to carry four left-handed relief pitchers.

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