Davidson embraces challenge as designated hitter for White Sox

 
 
Updated 3/16/2018 4:10 PM
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  • When he's not needed at third, the Chicago White Sox will use Matt Davidson, right, at their designated hitter.

    When he's not needed at third, the Chicago White Sox will use Matt Davidson, right, at their designated hitter. Associated Press

  • Chicago White Sox infielder Yolmer Sanchez was very effective coming off the bench last season.

    Chicago White Sox infielder Yolmer Sanchez was very effective coming off the bench last season. Associated Press

  • The Chicago White Sox will likely have Tyler Saladino as a utility infielders this season.

    The Chicago White Sox will likely have Tyler Saladino as a utility infielders this season. Associated Press

Jose Abreu just wants to play … first base.

Avisail Garcia just wants to play … right field.

Matt Davidson just wants to play … even if he's just swinging the bat.

As the new baseball season dawns, the Chicago White Sox are once again planning to use multiple players at designated hitter.

Abreu doesn't like being in the dugout when the Sox are in the field, and neither does Garcia.

"Everyone knows we are here to play," Abreu said. "I don't like to be a DH but in a season as long as the major-league season, there are some days you need to be a DH or you need to take a rest. I'm good with that."

Garcia feels the same way, and manager Rick Renteria plans on giving both players regular shifts on the defensive side.

"(Abreu) works very, very hard and we want to make sure he understands he's our first baseman," Renteria said. "But every now and then, we need to give him a break and use that DH slot to spell him."

Davidson is a third baseman by trade, but he led the White Sox in games played at designated hitter last season (60).

"DHing every day is fine with me," Davidson said. "I try to stay in the same routine and get the most out of it."

In his first full major-league season last year, Davidson ranked second among American League rookies with 26 home runs and fifth with 68 RBI.

"It was kind of a breakthrough year for him," Renteria said. "We're looking to hopefully see a lot more of that."

Davidson is building on his impressive debut this spring. Heading into Thursday night's exhibition game against the Angels, the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder led the majors with 16 RBI and had a .375/.444/.725 hitting line in 13 games.

When he's not the DH, Davidson can play third base and first base.

Yolmer Sanchez was very effective coming off the bench for the Sox last season. He played second base, third, shortstop and right, slashing .267/.319/.413 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI.

"Any place we've put him, he's done very well," Renteria said. "He's grown up in the White Sox organization. He's reflective of some of the players that came up through the system early and he's developed into a very good major-league baseball player."

Tyler Saladino is back as the Sox's utility infielder, and a strong spring has given newcomer Ryan Cordell the inside track as the fourth outfielder.

Acquired from the Brewers last July in a trade for veteran relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak, Cordell slashed .360/.500/.560 in his first 11 Cactus League games.

• Twitter: @scotgregor

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