Coke makes tweaks to delivery in side session

Coke makes tweaks to delivery in side session

DETROIT -- Phil Coke spent Friday afternoon working with pitching coach Jeff Jones in an extended side session to try to make some mechanical tweaks. He probably won't have to wait long to figure out if the tweaks make a difference.

Coke said Friday night that one of the adjustments was on his leg action, to try to get him to turn his hips more and get more velocity out of his pitches. Another adjustment that Jones pointed out was to keep Coke's hands from moving so much in his delivery.

To say Coke's recent work has been a concern would be an understatement. He gave up three runs on five hits with four outs in two outings at Boston earlier in the week. He had allowed a run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings in his previous eight appearances combined.

Some of that can be chalked up to the ups and downs of a reliever in a season. Still, Coke's particular struggles against left-handed hitters -- remember the walk to young left-handed hitter Ryan Kalish and the home run to Carl Crawford Wednesday at Fenway Park -- were a surprise to both the Tigers and himself.

"You can compare film between last year and this year," Coke said Saturday. "All you have to do is look at the tempo and you can see a massive difference. That alone, the tempo in which I work, is a totally different thing."

For the year, left-handed batters are hitting .261 (23-for-88) against Coke, 46 points higher than last year. Right-handed hitters, meanwhile, are batting .381 (32-for-84) off him, a 67-point rise from 2011 and 105 points higher than 2010.