Coke sees benefit of throwing side session

Coke sees benefit of throwing side session

DETROIT -- Phil Coke doesn't throw a side session in the bullpen before a game very often. When he threw a particularly long one before Sunday's game in Oakland, it was a pretty big deal.

When he felt the difference in Tuesday's game at Chicago, it was a pretty big reward for him.

"I felt much better," Coke said Wednesday. "I felt a lot smoother in my delivery. For my efforts, I was glad I was paid with a zero."

Coke said Sunday he didn't feel like his delivery was in sync mechanically, and it was costing him velocity and accuracy on his pitches.

Coke's fastball velocity is actually up almost a full mile an hour from last season, according to fangraphs.com. He entered Wednesday averaging 92.9 mph, compared with 92.0 last year. However, he spent nearly half of last season in the rotation, and wasn't throwing as hard as a starter.

Coke's velocity is down from 2010, his last full season as a reliever, when his fastball averaged 93.6 mph.

"I know I feel strong," Coke said Sunday. "It's just not there the way it should be."