For a team that’s supposed to be “rebuilding”, the Chicago White Sox (4-4, 2nd in AL Central) definitely have not been playing like a rebuilding franchise. The Sox took two of three from the Cleveland Indians this week, and they hope to gain some ground in the division when they start a weekend series with the Minnesota Twins (6-3) on Friday night. One player in particular that has kept Chicago’s south siders competitive thus far has been reserve third baseman Matt Davidson. He’s played in six of the team’s eight games and he’s made quite the impact.
Brought over in the Addison Reed trade in 2013, Davidson spent the next couple of seasons in the Sox minor league system. When the 26-year-old finally made his debut last season, it was a debut he’d like to forget. After getting an RBI single against the Minnesota Twins last June, Davidson suffered a broken foot while rounding first base. He wound up missing the remainder of the season. This year Davidson made the 25-man roster coming out of spring training and it’s paid dividends.
In the six game’s he played (dividing his time between third base and the designated hitters spot) Davidson has an outstanding .333/.368/.833 slash line (6-for-18). He’s hit two home runs, a double, a triple, he has eight runs batted in, six runs scored and an OPS of 1.202. His presence in the lineup has been especially helpful as starting third baseman Todd Frazier has been battling the flu. Being able to bat in the DH spot when Frazier is in the lineup provides stability as the Sox planned on using a DH-by-committee at the start of the season.
With Davidson in the lineup the White Sox have scored a total of 31 runs. They’ve posted a record of 4-2 in that time. Davidson is hot at the beginning of the season which is not easy to do, especially in Chicago when the weather can still be cold and not ideal for hitters at this time of year. He’s also finally living up to the potential we heard so much about when the White Sox traded for him.
“The guys just came in and played. We had some good at-bats, we had some breaks, we had some things go our way and fortunately for us we walked away with this series and we’re happy about that,” said manager Rick Renteria to CSN Chicago after Thursday’s victory over Cleveland.
The Sox lost two of three against Minnesota last weekend. But if Davidson can keep up his timely hitting, the White Sox will give themselves a chance to surprise their division rivals.