Matt Davidson is finally here.
It just took longer than he originally anticipated. Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December 2013 in exchange for closer Addison Reed, Davidson has made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. The White Sox finalized their roster on Sunday morning by purchasing the contracts of Cody Asche, Anthony Swarzak and Geovany Soto. Davidson also grabbed a spot and is up with the White Sox for only the second time since he was acquired. The third baseman was promoted last June, but broke his foot in his first game and was out for the season.
"It's pretty cool," Davidson said. "I've almost kind of been here mentally. You want to be here and you expect to be here and obviously on the other half you weren't here so you're trying to soak it all in. Every little opportunity you can, just enjoy it and just realize you're here and not take it for granted."
Swarzak has made the Opening Day roster for the fifth time in his career. The veteran reliever said he has felt good physically all spring, where he struck out 16 batters in 12 2/3 innings. But Swarzak has also enjoyed the new atmosphere he's encountered with the White Sox. Having spent a good porition of his career in the AL Central, Swarzak always thought the White Sox would be a good fit. So far that's what he's found.
"It means the world to me," Swarzak said. "Any time you get an opportunity to play on Opening Day in the major leagues, you cherish it. It's something very special. I really like it here, the group of guys here, the staff, the coaches. Everything seems to just fit me and my personality. I had a good spring and now here I am.
"Everything kind of came together at the right time and that's kind of how baseball seems to be."
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The timing has never quite worked out for Davidson with the White Sox until now. He was believed to have a good shot at making the 2014 club after the White Sox acquired him to be their third baseman of the future. Davidson performed well that spring, but the club opted to keep Conor Gillaspie, who was out of options, in the majors. They wanted Davidson to spend more time in the minors developing. But Davidson struggled, hitting .199 and .203 in 2014 and 2015 at Triple-A Charlotte.
It was only last year that Davidson found his groove. Davidson hit .294/.366/.477 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs from May 7 through June 28.
Looking for some thump at designated hitter, the White Sox promoted Davidson on June 30. He singled in a run in his second plate appearance but broke his foot running the bases. Davidson had surgery in July and was out for the season. Aside from a visit when the club played in Anaheim later that month, Davidson was gone, spending most of his time rehabbing at the team's Glendale, Ariz. training facility.
"I'm just really excited and can't wait to see what it's all about," Davidson said. "It's where you want to be."