Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Phil Coke made his major league debut as a reliever last season, despite being a starter in the minors, and he readily impressed. Although he only pitched 14.2 innings in 12 appearances, he gave up just one run in that time. Coke was asked to prepare as a starter for next season, but it is unclear whether the Yankees plan to have him continue his development in Scranton, or include him on the roster as a left handed reliever. I lean towards his inclusion as a left handed reliever if only because he was so effective last season, and Marte was decidedly not.
My Fearless Prediction:
Coke will begin the season on the big league roster but eventually find himself starting in Scranton. They will want him to start since lefty starters are such valuable commodities, and he may not have that opportunity this season with both Aceves and Hughes waiting for a starting gig.
Little Known Coke Fact:
Phil Coke once threw a bat at an umpire and got suspended for 50 games, but what is not known is that at the moment Coke threw the bat, there was a swarm of killer bees swooping down on the umpire, and Coke was really just saving his life. Despite video and radar recordings that proved there was a swarm of killer bees, the arbitration board decided against Coke's appeal on the grounds that bat throwing is never appropriate, even when saving a life. The proper procedure is to file a complaint against the swarming killer bees, CC Donald Fehr, Bud Selig, and the New York Yankees on the appeal, write a petition to your local congressman, ask for the unions legal representation, get George Mitchell to begin an investigation on the matter, and then release the report naming everyone involved and requesting that Major League Baseball adopt more stringent killer bee policies to avoid future complications in the matter.