The Indians signed free-agent first baseman David Cooper, 26, to a minor-league contract and sent him to their facility in Goodyear, Ariz.
Cooper was the Blue Jays’ first-round pick in the 2008 draft and made the climb to the big leagues in 2011, batting .211 in 71 at-bats.
In 2012, he batted .300 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI in 140 at-bats, but his season ended in August because of a back injury that required surgery in April of this year. A month before the operation, he was released by Toronto.
Cooper has not played since the surgery but he is expected to be assigned to Columbus soon.
“He’s a kid that got called up when he was really young, 21, and never put it together,’’ Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We wanted to sign him now and let him play for three weeks then see if it’s a possibility [bringing him to the big leagues].’’
LUCKY MONTH FOR SOME — Who will be called up in September, and what will be the criteria?
Some players are called up the final month of the season to bolster certain areas of the team. Others are summoned as a reward for having a good season in the farm system, and still others make it to the big leagues to get a feel for where they eventually make a living.
“We’ve discussed it minimally so far,” Francona said. “It might depend on where we are in the standings. There are guys who deserve to be recalled, but if we’re in the hunt, we don’t want a lot of guys wandering through the clubhouse [who aren’t going to play].”
KUDOS — The Tribe has named Carolina right-hander Cody Anderson as the organization’s Minor League Player of the Week.
Last week, Anderson, 22, matched his season high of seven innings, allowing no runs and walking one in a 12-1 win over Frederick. Opposing batters were 3-for-22 against him.
For the season, Anderson is 9-4 with a 2.34 ERA, best in the Carolina League. He has held opposing batters to a .236 average. He is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in nine second-half starts.
FARM FACTS — Nick Pasquale gave up two runs and six hits, striking out seven in six innings, as Carolina beat Potomac 2-0. ... Robbie Aviles allowed two runs, six hits and a walk in six innings, as Lake County defeated Bowling Green 3-2. Jeremy Lucas doubled and drove in two runs. ... Francisco Mejia homered and singled in the Arizona League Indians’ 4-2 win over the Rangers. Kieran Lovegrove gave up one earned run (two total) and seven hits in 5⅓ innings.
— Sheldon Ocker