David Cooper Getting His First Shot, Travis Snider Headed to AAA

As I had mentioned earlier this week would be a possible move by the Jays, they have decided to send Travis Snider down to AAA in order to allow him to rebuild his confidence at the plate. Interestingly, the player stepping up to Toronto to replace him is not Eric Thames or Brett Lawrie, it is 1B David Cooper. It’s interesting because he’s not a clear replacement for Snider who plays LF and it leaves the Jays with either Juan Rivera and Mike McCoy as the only viable LF options until Rajai Davis returns or Scott Podsednik returns.

Speaking of Podsednik, he’s also in Las Vegas playing the OF, so something tells me he may soon join Cooper in Toronto and that Cooper may have been the first of the 2 call-ups. Chris Woodward has been sent down to AAA as well, so the Jays may be announcing another call-up soon. Dewayne Wise has also been promoted to AAA from New Hampshire during his rehab, making for a very crowded LV outfield. It seems unlikely that they’d keep Scott Podsednik, Travis Snider, Darin Mastroianni, Dewayne Wise, and Eric Thames together for a good period of time. Either Wise or Pods will likely get the call soon, unless the Jays decide to give Thames a look as well.

Cooper will apparently get some time at 1B as well as at DH. It’s nice to see what should be only the beginning of many call ups taking place and to see some fresh blood added to the lineup. After hitting .395/.438/.617 in April thus far with 12 doubles and 2 HRs, he has earned the look. However, I still think he’s an interesting choice and have to wonder the following about his promotion ahead of Thames and Lawrie, who both play positions where the Jays need more help than at 1B or DH:

  • This smells to me like one massive showcase being made by Alex Anthopoulos. You have to believe that the Jays are ecstatic with the play of Lind at 1B, so why bring in another player to compete for playing time with him? He’s hoping that 1 hot period in the majors after such a hot start in AAA can lead to major trade value and that it allows him to pick up a much needed piece at another position. If that happens, the almost equally hot Michael McDade, currently in AA, can move up to AAA and all is well down the ladder.
  • The second part of the equation is that like Snider, Cooper hits from the left side of the plate, and unlike Eric Thames, he hasn’t struck out 17 times thus far. Instead, he has a minute 6 strike outs to his resume in 81 ABs, making it easier to imagine him having a successful debut in the majors right now. In case you’re all wondering, Lawrie, who is a RHB, has 20 strike outs thus far, so what Cooper has done at the plate thus far in AAA has been outstanding. So, Cooper allows the Jays to keep a good balance of LHB and RHB in the lineup, and assures the big club that they should get quality ABs from him if he continues on from his early success in 2011.

At this point, I have to wonder if the Jays have already had trade talks with another team, because it’s a curious move through and through. I’m still looking forward to seeing what Cooper does versus Yankee pitching and how he helps the Jays lineup. But, it seems to me that as soon as people get healthy and playing well again, he could wind up either back in AAA or on another club very quickly depending on his performance. If he does extremely well, he could be traded. If not, he gets more seasoning in AAA, which would also slow his clock down.

I really hope that this move allows Snider to relax and to get back to his dominant old self. If he finds that old magic touch, he should be back in Toronto in no time at all. Good luck to him and we’ll be watching his play very closely in Las Vegas.

As an extra note, Travis d’Arnaud has been place on the 7-day DL by the NH Fishercats, indicating that Yan Gomes and Jack Murphy will now be sharing catching duties in AA for the next little while. Jonathan Diaz, meanwhile, was promoted to AAA.

- MG

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Tags: Chris Woodward David Cooper Travis D'Arnaud Travis Snider

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