Coke reportedly headed to Cubs on Minors pact

Coke reportedly headed to Cubs on Minors pact

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs are in the market for some left-handed help in the bullpen, and they have reportedly signed reliever Phil Coke to a Minor League contract.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal on Thursday reported the deal, which is pending a physical. The Cubs have not confirmed the report.

However, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Coke is the type of pitcher who could fill a need in the 'pen.

"It's not a big secret we're seeking a left-handed specialist," Maddon said Thursday. "It's nice to have that lefty who can also get out the righty. I've seen Phil Coke in the past, and he's been able to get out righties, too."

Last season, left-handed hitters batted .257 against Coke, while right-handers hit .333. Coke, 32, spent the past five seasons with the Tigers, and he is 22-27 in his career with a 4.16 ERA and eight saves.He went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 appearances last season with Detroit.

The Cubs have lefties Zac Rosscup, Joseph Ortiz, Drake Britton, Hunter Cervenka and Francisley Bueno in camp. Maddon has seen Bueno and Ortiz pitch in the past.

The Cubs have solid right-handed arms in the bullpen, including Hector Rondon, Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm and Pedro Strop. Maddon called them the "even or ahead guys" that a team would use in a situation when the game is tied or it has the lead. Having that many pitchers of that caliber helps in terms of innings pitched.

"That permits you to spread the work out and not beat guys up, Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.