Cooper returns to Champions on spring invite
May 5, 2018
OTTAWA ADDS THREE PLAYERS OUT OF OPEN TRYOUT, INCLUDING CANADIAN PITCHER COOPER
By Michael Nellis
OTTAWA – Forty-one players assembled at RCGT Park Saturday morning in an attempt at impressing Ottawa Champions coaches at the team’s annual open tryout. While many impressed, three of them did enough to earn a spring training invite with the Can-Am League club.
RHP ANDREW COOPER, RHP SETH DOUGLAS, and INF BRENDAN SKIDMORE were all selected out of the field by manager Hal Lanier and will have an opportunity to fight for one of the Champions’ 24 roster spots.
“We had great weather this year, and were able to see a lot of guys swing the bat,” Lanier said after he made his three selections. “We were impressed – the coaching staff sat down and made our decisions, and we’re excited to bring the guys in.”
A familiar face is among the selectees – with Cooper getting a second opportunity as a Champion. He returns to the roster after suffering an illness last summer, and will have an opportunity to fight for a spot at camp.
The Canadian from Windsor, Ont. spent parts of the last two seasons as a member of the Champions bullpen.
“He really threw well out of the bullpen,” Lanier said of the 25-year-old’s performance in the tryout. “He kept everything down, and looked like he was throwing with a little bit more velocity.”
Two new faces will join Cooper in fighting for roster spots, including one pitcher who will challenge for space in the bullpen. Douglas, a 23-year-old rookie, spent last season in the Pecos League with the Alpine Cowboys. The right-hander did not allow a single earned run in five innings pitched that year.
The lone position player among the invitees, Skidmore, was invited based on his impressive hitting skills. The Franklin, Mass. native smashed a couple home runs during his hitting session.
Skidmore was a member of NCAA D1’s Binghamton University in 2017, and has spent the last few summers playing in collegiate wood bat leagues. He was a big contributor to the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox’s Cape Cod League championship in 2016, when he hit .346 during the league’s postseason.
Spring training begins Sunday morning with players taking their physical tests ahead of on field workouts.