Cooper, McDade to share time at Triple-A

Cooper, McDade to share time at Triple-A

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- First base prospect Mike McDade appears set to begin the year in Triple-A Las Vegas, which could lead to some tough decisions for his coaching staff.

McDade spent 2011 in Double-A New Hampshire but following a successful season he's in line for a promotion. The only problem with that is last year's batting champion of the Pacific Coast League, David Cooper, is already at that position in Triple-A.

In many ways it's a good problem to have and Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava said both players will receive plenty of playing time.

"They're both ready for the level," LaCava said. "Obviously Coop had a great year there and now Mike has proven that he deserves to go there. So, we have the DH spot as well so we'll mix and match a little bit and we'll try to develop both of them defensively.

"But the biggest thing is that they're going to get the at-bats that they need at that level. So, they're going to be at the Triple-A level getting those at-bats."

Cooper made his Major League debut in 2011 but managed to hit just .211 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 71 at-bats. In Las Vegas, the results were much better as he led the league with a .364 average while posting nine home runs and 96 RBIs. His path to the Major Leagues is currently blocked by Adam Lind.

McDade posted 16 homers and 74 RBIs in 125 games for the Eastern League champions Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.