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updated: 3/17/2014 8:21 PM

Timing is everything for White Sox 3B Davidson

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  • Matt Davidson

    Matt Davidson

  • Third baseman Matt Davidson is hitting .233 this spring. He had 2 doubles in his first 2 at-bats Monday as the Sox beat Milwaukee 9-0.

    Third baseman Matt Davidson is hitting .233 this spring. He had 2 doubles in his first 2 at-bats Monday as the Sox beat Milwaukee 9-0.
    Associated Press


PHOENIX -- Third baseman Conor Gillaspie is out of minor-league options so if he doesn't make the White Sox' 25-man roster out of spring training, odds are great he'll land with another major-league team.

That's Strike 1 for Matt Davidson.

Gillaspie is a left-handed hitter, a big bonus for a Sox lineup still stacked with right-handers.

Strike 2 for Davidson.

With only 76 at-bats in the major leagues under his belt -- all coming with the Diamondbacks last season -- getting some more development time in the minors wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for Davidson.

Strike 3?

A decision probably isn't coming until the very end of training camp, and there is a chance the 22-year-old Davidson wins a job with the White Sox.

"Obviously, I want to make the team," he said. "I'm human and I'm not going to tell you I don't want to. It's not like I would be happy if I don't make the team, but I understand there's a process and I understand there's a whole kind of little scenario with the situation at third base. I understand that.

"But I also know I don't want to just necessarily be better than whoever the third baseman is right now. I want to become a great player and I want to play for a long time.

"And if I don't make the team in 2014 it doesn't mean I'm not going to play for a long time in the big leagues at a high level. I don't want to just be up and down. I want to be here for a long time so I want to just respect that process. I came in knowing that there was a possibility of starting at Triple-A (Charlotte)."

Considering the Sox traded a quality player -- closer Addison Reed -- to Arizona in order to land Davidson, it would be accurate to say it's only a matter of time before the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder takes over at third base on a permanent basis.

"You can see the talent," said White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson. "We didn't acquire him to not be up here with us at some point. That's really up to how the dominoes fall. We can't say anything for sure right now. You still have some time before we break camp so you play it out, do your best, do what you've got to do to win yourself a job."

Davidson sure didn't hurt his chances in Monday's 9-0 Cactus League win over the Brewers.

In his first at-bat, Davidson doubled off the left-field fence. The next time up, he got a green light on a 3-0 count with the bases loaded and laced a 2-run double down the left-field line.

"When we got him, there was stuff to work on," manager Robin Ventura said. "And he continues to work on it, but we're happy to have him. He seems to be getting better every day."

Davidson's most productive offensive game in the Cactus League Monday raised his batting average from .192 to .233.

"He's having more quality at-bats now, more consistent at-bats, than he did at the beginning of the spring," Steverson said. "He's starting to get a feel for what he's doing on his approach. I'm pretty sure he's seeing the ball pretty well."

Davidson, the No. 35 overall pick in the 2009 draft, was a strikeout machine in the Diamondbacks' system. This spring, he's struck out just five times in 30 at-bats.

"I feel great," Davidson said. "I've been having great at-bats and I've been seeing a lot of pitches, too, I haven't just been swinging at the first pitch. I'm hitting off-speed pitches well and laying off pitches out of the zone. I haven't been fazed hitting with two strikes and I haven't been striking out that much at all.

"Average wise, it's not where you want it, it's not very high, but honestly this is probably the most productive spring I've ever had, as far as feeling. The stats matter when you're trying to make a team but I'm not letting that worry me. I want to have a great 2014 wherever I am."

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