Cooper is expected to split playing time at first base with Jesus Aguilar to begin the season, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports. "In general, we feel like we are going to get both of those guys a lot of at-bats with a combination of first base and outfield," manager Don Mattingly said. "Days off for different guys. We want both of these guys in the lineup as much as possible." The 30-year-old Cooper could also see reps in right field, but the offseason addition of Adam Duvall will likely limit how much time is available for other players in right. As a result, it might take a trade, or the last-minute re-introduction of the DH to the National League, for either Cooper or Aguilar to see anything close to a full-time role, even before considering the potential presence of prospect Lewin Diaz in the mix. Cooper certainly earned a significant role in Miami after posting a .281/.347/.459 slash line in 141 games over the last two seasons.
Cooper agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the Marlins on Wednesday, Craig Mish of SportsGrid.com reports. He can earn up to $2.05 million with performance bonuses. Jesus Aguilar is also back on a one-year deal, so ideally the designated hitter will remain in the National League going forward. Cooper may have flown under the radar last season, but his .283/.353/.500 slash line and six home runs in 34 games was pretty impressive. He should enter the year with near everyday playing time and a spot in the middle of Miami's lineup.
Cooper is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Yankees, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports. Cooper had started each of the Marlins' previous 24 games, slashing .289/.379/.482 with four home runs, 12 RBI and 17 runs during that stretch. With Miami having already clinched its spot in the postseason, Cooper will receive a well-deserved breather in the regular-season finale.
Cooper went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in a 4-3 win over the Yankees on Friday. Cooper wasted no time getting going as he connected with the first pitch he saw to put the Marlins up 3-0 in the first. The 29-year-old has played a major role in Miami's unexpected success this season, hitting .287/.359/.513 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 128 plate appearances.
Cooper went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a walk in a 7-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday. Cooper slugged a third-inning homer off Patrick Corbin to give Pablo Lopez enough run support to earn the victory. Over his past 15 games, Cooper is slashing .333/.458/.583.