Maddon likes experience Coke could bring to bullpen

Lefty throws mound session at Cubs camp; manager praises veteran's 'animated' demeanor

Maddon likes experience Coke could bring to bullpen

MESA, Ariz. -- Lefty reliever Phil Coke threw a bullpen session Saturday and was expected to be formally introduced as a member of the Cubs on Sunday. Coke has reportedly agreed to a Minor League deal, but manager Joe Maddon said the veteran fills a need in the bullpen.

Maddon talked to Coke briefly Saturday.

"He's loquacious -- I was able to establish that quickly," Maddon said. "He's animated, he's wide open, I love all of that."

Coke will likely throw at least one more bullpen before the Cubs decide how soon he can pitch in a game. Although he hasn't been in camp, Coke, 32, has been working out at home.

"I've seen him when he's really good," Maddon said. "I know he's a little bit older now, but the experience level is big. You're talking about a lefty who can get out a lefty, but he's also been able to get out a righty."

The Cubs are sorting through their lefty options. The pitchers in camp include Zac Rosscup, Joseph Ortiz, Drake Britton, Hunter Cervenka and Francisley Bueno.

Coke spent the past five years with the Tigers, and is 22-27 in seven Major League seasons with a 4.16 ERA and eight saves.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.