Together again, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke will look to rebound from the worst seasons of their pro careers.
The duo both broke into the majors as prospects with the New York Yankees and found early success.
Chamberlain was the first of the two to reach the majors and posted a 0.38 ERA in 24 innings back in 2007. He followed that up with a 4-3 record and a 2.60 ERA in just over 100 innings in 2008 and finished tied for eighth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Coke joined Chamberlain in the majors that season and pitched just over 14 innings, finishing with a 0.61 ERA.
Both players returned the next year and continued to have success. Chamberlain shifted into a starting rotation role and went 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts while Coke went 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 72 appearances out of the bullpen.
From then on, both of the pitchers have struggled to maintain that success.
Chamberlain shifted back to the bullpen in 2010 and posted a very good season in 2011 with a 2.83 ERA and a career-low 2.2 walks per nine innings out of the bullpen. But he followed it up with two subpar seasons, and his worst was last year when he had career-highs in ERA, WHIP, home runs allowed per nine innings, walked batters per nine innings and a career-low in base on balls to strikeout ratio.
Coke was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 2009 season and had his best full season in the majors in 2010, going 7-5 with a 3.76 ERA. After that Coke’s numbers were very inconsistent. In 2011 he had a career-high nine losses, and last year his ERA was over five as he had career-highs in WHIP and walked batters per nine innings.
Both players are now members of the Tigers’ bullpen after Chamberlain signed a one-year, $2.5-million contract this offseason.
Back on the same team again, Chamberlain and Coke will look to find success they both enjoyed back in New York and improve a Tigers bullpen that has struggled in the last couple seasons.