Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Toronto has released first baseman David Cooper, who hit .270 with a .750 OPS in 72 games for the Blue Jays during the past two seasons.
Cooper ended last season on the disabled list with a back injury that has carried over to this year, taking him out of the running for a bench job.
Cooper was a first-round pick in 2008, but fell off the fast track and has spent two seasons each at Double-A and Triple-A. He’s hit .346 in 188 games at Triple-A, although Las Vegas is a very hitter-friendly environment and with just 19 homers Cooper’s lack of power makes him a tough fit as a big-league first baseman.
If healthy there’s a role for him in the majors, but he hasn’t seen game action since last August.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.