White Sox

What making the Opening Day roster means to White Sox duo

What making the Opening Day roster means to White Sox duo

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."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Who will win the AL Central in 2020?


White Sox Talk Podcast: Who will win the AL Central in 2020?

With only 60 games to play in the 2020 MLB season, it seems like there will be a three-team race to the top of the AL Central. To discuss and debate, Chuck Garfien is joined by Anthony Castrovince and Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com to discuss who will be crowned the division winner.

(4:30) - Is the AL Central a three-team race or will the Twins win it again?

(10:30) - Who will have the best hitting in the division?

(16:49) - Who has the best starting pitching?

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(23:38) - Bullpen break down

(31:52) - Final rankings on who should win the AL Central

Listen here or below.


MLB The Show: White Sox take down Blue Jays behind Dallas Keuchel

MLB The Show: White Sox take down Blue Jays behind Dallas Keuchel

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Blue Jays 7-1
Record: 51-36 this season, first in AL Central (3 games ahead of Twins)

W: Dallas Keuchel (5-5)
L: Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4)

Game summary: The South Siders continued their three-game set vs the Blue Jays north of the border on Wednesday. And just like Canadian summers, their bats took a little longer than normal to warm up in this game.

Fortunately for the White Sox, they didn’t need a lot of runs early as Dallas Keuchel had his entire repertoire working. The veteran lefty, a frequent sore spot in the rotation this season, went eight innings while allowing just one run and striking out five batters. Sporting an ERA above 7 at times this year, Keuchel is now sitting at 5.90.

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After just scoring just two runs through the first seven frames, the White Sox offense broke out in the eighth. Tim Anderson emerged from his power slump in a big way, hitting a three-run bomb to left. Then, Nomar Mazara also went deep, slugging his 17th homer of the season.

The White Sox winning streak is now at three games, the same total they lead the AL Central by as All-Star weekend approaches.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 0-4 (.311 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-4, 2B (.251 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 1-5, HR (23), RBI, R (.278 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 1-3, 2 BB, R (.309 BA)
Jose Abreu: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R (.311 BA)
Tim Anderson: 1-5, HR (15), 3 RBI, R (.275 BA)
Luis Robert: 1-5, R (.256 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-3 (.283 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 2-4, HR (17), 2 RBI, R (.257 BA)

Scoring summary:

Top first

Yoan Moncada homered to left field. 1-0 CHW.

Top fourth

Nomar Mazara singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 2-0 CHW.

Bottom fifth

Bo Bichette homered to left field. 2-1 CHW.

Top eighth

Tim Anderson homered to left field, Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu scored. 5-1 CHW.
Mazara homered to right field. 6-1 CHW.

Top ninth

Anderson reached on throwing error, Abreu scored. 7-1 CHW.

Notable performance: Mazara is the human embodiment of the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Despite being in the nine-hole, Mazara has hit 16 homers and is ninh in the AL with 63 RBIs. There's no reason to move him elsewhere in the lineup.

Next game: Thursday, July 2 - Game 88: White Sox at Blue Jays (Dylan Cease, 4-4, 5.40 ERA vs Ryan Borucki, 6-4, 5.11 ERA)