Cooper plans to seize latest opportunity

Cooper plans to seize latest opportunity

Cooper plans to seize latest opportunity
ARLINGTON -- The departure of Adam Lind has eventually led to another opportunity at the big league level for David Cooper.

Cooper was promoted before Friday night's game after outfielder Ben Francisco had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury.

While it was Francisco's ailment that officially cleared room on the 25-man roster, it was last week's demotion of Lind that really cleared the way for Cooper to receive another chance with the Blue Jays.

"I knew there was a possibility," Cooper said of the looming promotion after Lind was sent to Las Vegas. "I didn't know one way or the other for sure, but now that I have it, I need to make the most of it.

"That's exactly how I'm approaching it. I don't see why anybody would approach it any differently. I just have to go out there and make the most of it and do what I can to help the team."

How much of an opportunity Cooper will receive remains to be seen. He wasn't in the lineup on Friday night and he likely is behind both Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes on the depth chart for first base and designated hitter.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that for now, Cooper will "come off the bench," but didn't rule out the possibility that chances will come his way. When that does occur, it will be up to Cooper to seize the opportunity and build on a successful run in Triple-A Las Vegas.

With the 51s, Cooper was hitting .298 with a .378 on-base percentage and six home runs in 42 games. That's a noticeable increase in power, as Cooper hit just nine all of last season in the Pacific Coast League.

"It was something I kind of worked on," Cooper said. "Not so much doing anything different, but just trying to add a little more strength. I thought I had a lot of doubles last year and maybe if I just added 10-20 feet, maybe the balls would carry over. You don't have to hit it into the upper deck, you just have to hit it out.

"That's part of it, but also my job on the field is to drive in runs. That's the type of player I want to be and that's the player I hope to be."

Cooper made his Major League debut last season and hit .211 with two home runs, 12 RBIs and seven doubles in 27 games. The 25-year-old was the 17th pick of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by then general manager J.P. Ricciardi.