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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Topics: Chris Woodward, David Cooper, Travis D'Arnaud, Travis Snider

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  • Theo_Adorno

    Others are reporting that Davis and Cooper are up and Woodward and Snider are down. Not sure if this is the case.

    • blabbity blah

      confirmed on jays official site.

  • Gerry

    if a trade is in the works, who would you think the Jays might be angling for, Mat?

    • Mat Germain

      Could be anyone in need of a 1B, I’ll post a “possibilities” about it. Truthfully, there are tons of potential targets and nobody can really know what AA is thinking. But, it’s fun to speculate, so I’ll put it out there even if some people don’t like it!!

  • NOT_TravisSnider45

    why Snider sent down?! Snider not happy! Snider guess Snider need more muscle hit ball far! Snider can crush ball stronger than puny Cooper very easy! Snider angry now! ROAAAAARRR!!!!

  • Theery

    umm the trade theories are ridiculous… sorry Mat, but why would you develop a prospect who can hit in the majors and control for 6 years, just to trade? OF, especially LF isn’t a hard position to fill\learn.

    • Mat Germain

      This comment is …..ugh. These kinds of trades happen all of the time. I can list them for you if you want. The truth of it all is that there is no room for both Lind and Cooper in the lineup long term. Remember, you have to deal something to get something.

      • Theery

        my comment is ugh? I feel the same way about your speculations. That’s all it is, and it doesn’t even follow any logic.

        Why was Cooper called up? Could it be that he’s easily been 51′s best and most mature hitter?

        Why are we looking to trade away one of our prospects in a rebuilding year? Especially this early into the season. It also doesn’t make sense to call-up a player just to “showcase” him for a trade, when if in fact a GM is interested in prospects they could just scout them playing in the minors.

        • Mat Germain

          Yes, the comment was ughh because it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Ridiculous? Really? We watched AA deal 3 of the best RP prospects in the system, Tyler Pastornicky (a very highly touted SS prospect), Brett Wallace, and Michael Taylor, and you don’t believe he would trade David freakin’ Cooper? Really? Yes, he would, in a heartbeat if it makes the Jays better overall. With all of the love Cooper is getting, the fact of the matter is that he doesn’t fit, whether he hits or not.

          The Jays are NOT rebuilding. They are building on what they have, and that makes things entirely different Theery. They want to add players that give them above-average players at each position when all is said and done. Does keeping Cooper do that? No. Lind is a better option at 1B, and there are many better options as DH. Therefore, once he establishes his trade value, he probably will be dealt, unless the Jays plan on dealing Adam Lind (possible, but very doubtful).

          • Theery

            First of all, you’re getting a tad too defensive. I stand by my opinion that it is ridiculous but I say that with all due respect. Unfortunately text has its limitations and you may of read it with a different tone in your mind.

            I’m still awaiting the examples where a GM calls up a prospect to showcase him for trade. The examples you put so far in no way proved your case, heres why :

            -3 RP prospects (collins, farq, magnuson) were traded without a MLB game played.
            -Wallace was traded without a major league game played (again no MLB showcase)
            -Michael Taylor (flipped before even a Toronto affiliate game)

            Furthermore, as I already have explained, prospects do not need to be showcased in the majors to set up a trade. Just ask AA where he got his top prospects. :)

            Of course that is not to say that you’re wrong that Cooper WON’T get traded this year, but he has no more or less likelyhood of being traded regardless of minor or major league stints.

  • http://lotuslandtory.blogspot.com gerard

    I can see the merit of this decision for Snider. A few weeks ago, Ghostrunner on First pointed out that Snider’s opposite field power had evaporated last year; and has shown no signs of returning this year. Even when he’s been getting hits recently, I’ve gotten the sense that they’ve been more due to terrific natural talent than good timing and an effective approach (there have been a fair number of one-handed hits, for example).

    I’ll give AA the benefit of the doubt, and presume until proven otherwise that Snider is being sent down to adjust his approach and mechanics, rather than just work his way out of a slump.

  • rob

    “allows Snider to relax and to get back to his dominant old self” i dont understand this statement :) what i think your saying is snider is a dominant force in the american league? is that right? when has he ever been dominant for any length of time? he cant hit a fastball and is horrible in the outfield. send him to the minors for seasoning and development before you run out of options and are forced to designate him. good move AA – btw this isnt going to be a 10 day minimum stay in the minors.

    theyre not going to call up lawrie either until they know hes going to be a part of this team for the long haul. lawrie is not on the 40 man roster and theyre not going to waste any of his option years to fill in for 10 games.

    you were right about about one thing, cooper is being called up for his left handed presence and to give lind a break at first every once and a while.

    • Mat Germain

      He was a dominant force when he came through the minors, which was enough for BA to make him a top 6 prospect in MLB. He was ranked 53rd overall in 2007, made it to 11th in 2008, and 6th overall in 2009. How quickly we forget that not so long ago, Snider was thought of as “The Franchise” and was really the only “real” prospect in the entire organization that garnered much talk around MLB. At that point, he had hit 50 HRs in only 305 minor league GPs and had literally nobody in each of the lineups he was in to back him up since talent levels were so low in the Jays system at the time.

      Snider was, and still is, a top talent in MLB. End of story.

      • aaforpm

        The information that you point to proves that Snider was a highly touted prospect and that he enjoyed success in the minor leagues. But the information does not amount to proving that Snider is a “top talent in MLB”…I’m sorry but by that logic every failed prospect/AAAA player would be a top talent in MLB. He has had a couple of hot streaks at the MLB level, but he has had a lot more cold streaks. I hope he does prove to be a major league talent at one point, but today there is no more proof of that than there is of Snider being a AAAA player. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, I’m just trying to be objective. He has had trouble adjusting to pitchers who regularly adjust to him, and at this point there is no way of knowing one way or the other whether he ever will.

        • Mat Germain

          This is a kid who was rushed to the majors, had never failed at anything before getting to The Show, and was stuck in the 8th/9th spots in the lineup by Cito so that he could “earn” his way into the core of the lineup. As he arrived in Toronto as “The Franchise” and the “only” major prospect at the time, with all of the pressure on his shoulders, you can understand why he has struggled. No, he didn’t “earn” a spot higher in the lineup, but Cito did leave him in the bottom of the lineup without regard for whether he should be moved to the 2-hole so that he could see more favorable pitches – as the Braves have done with Jason Heyward.

          Snider was brought into a very tough situation, with all of the expectations on his shoulders, and with a few unfortunate injuries. There are plenty of talents out there who needed time to develop, with the most recent being Delmon Young and Carlos Gonzalez. Do you really want to give up on guys who can develop to that level so quickly?

          Have some patience. It will happen. There is no doubt in my mind.

  • blabbity blah

    aside from power, I was pretty amused that the author thought McDade is a better 1B prospect than Cooper. I like the idea of a switch hitting power 1B myself, but he hasn’t improved his BB:K rate, SO totals, and BB totals in 3 years. I’m hoping that I’m wrong though.

  • http://jaysjournal.com Chuck

    What is the plan for Darin Mastroianni? As noted, the 51′s outfield is very crowded and his playing time has suffered since the arrival of Posednik and Wise. Does this mean he has fallen lower on the depth chart, and his chances for promotion to the big club are reduced?

    Thanks

  • Theery

    Mastroianni has a horrid BB:K rate and strikes out too much for a guy with not much power. I’m beginning to see why AA wasn’t so enthused by his potential. And yes that does mean he has fallen on the depth chart… but it was never that high to begin with. He’s 25 and struggling in AAA, and being outplayed by prospects younger than him.

  • http://jaysjournal Nick

    The Jays have to get away from these older players who have had the chance already- Posednik, Patterson, and Wise won’t help them. Time to give Mastroianni the chance he deserves- he hit .365 in winter ball, and allstar in every league he’s played in the last couple of years. He’s super quick, and can be taught better plate discipline. Bring him up and see what he can do…

  • http://jaysjournal Nick

    Mastroianni hit .365 in winter ball, and has been an all star in the A and AA levels. Time to give him a chance to play every day in AAA rather than playing these retreads. He can learn plate discipline, then watch him go when he gets on base- he’s super quick, probably faster than Davis.