David Cooper has seemingly been on the Blue Jays’ prospect radar forever, putting up solid numbers in the minors while also flirting with productivity at the Major League level for years. However, every time that Cooper puts himself into the debate about a permanent roster spot, something always gets in the way.
For David Cooper, 2013 is starting along a similar path.
According to Shi Davidi (Twitter), the first baseman/designated hitter is being held out of spring training after suffering another back injury. The team and the first baseman have not yet set a timetable for his recovery and neither party has ruled out surgery.
“It’s a disc in the middle of his back,” manager John Gibbons said. “I don’t know all the specifics, but it’s in a tough area to treat and heal. It’s going to be longer than we were hoping. It’s serious.”
It is a different injury to the one that ended Cooper’s 2012 season in August. Cooper’s season-ending injury was an upper back injury and thought to reside in the area of his neck.
At the time of his injury, Cooper was making solid strides for the Blue Jays. He had appeared in 45 games, hitting an even .300 with 4 home runs, 11 RBI, 11 doubles, and a .788 OPS. Prior to his promotion, Cooper had hit .314 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI, and a .935 OPS in 68 games with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Cooper, who has drawn comparisons to former first baseman John Olerud in the past, was expected to once again start the year at Triple-A, but was one of the players who was viewed as a possible alternative to Adam Lind if Lind failed to secure the DH job.