"With [David] Ortiz and [Stephen] Drew and [Jacoby] Ellsbury, we just felt like it made sense if he's right. He felt good down there and did OK, so he's activated. That's the story for him."
Coke's career numbers against Ortiz (2-for-18, four strikeouts) and Ellsbury (1-for-11, four strikeouts) are solid, though Coke gave up a go-ahead hit to Ortiz earlier this season. Drew, however, is 3-for-5 with a walk against him.
Leyland also pointed out the fact that the pitcher he replaced on the postseason roster, righty Luke Putkonen, didn't pitch at all in the AL Division Series.
"That's what the [roster] rules are for. If you want to adjust, you can make an adjustment," Leyland said. "The only thing is we wanted to make sure [Coke was healthy]. If Coke comes in and then comes up lame right away, then he's not eligible for the next series."
In other words, the Tigers either have to carry the lefty on the roster or they'll lose him for the rest of postseason. By rule, players can be replaced on the postseason roster for injury reasons, but they can't return for the next series.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.