White Sox

#MattyDDay? More like #MattyDMonth: Dude's tearing up spring training

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USA TODAY

#MattyDDay? More like #MattyDMonth: Dude's tearing up spring training

The White Sox have spent all day Wednesday celebrating #MattyDDay on social media. Turns out it's a cause worth celebrating.

Despite hitting 26 home runs last season — the second most on the team last season, after Jose Abreu — Matt Davidson had some real offensive issues in 2017, only getting on base at a .260 clip and walking just 19 times on the season, while striking out 165 times in 443 plate appearances.

Those results brought about plenty of legitimate questions about his long-term future on the South Side, where Rick Hahn's rebuilding efforts are planned to produce a perennial contender. With so many highly touted prospects on the way, does Davidson have a place on those contending teams of the future?

Well, Davidson's trying to answer that question in 2018, and his production so far this spring is showing that he could hit his way into the conversation.

Through his first eight Cactus League games, Davidson posted a .375/.444/.792 slash line, cranking out five extra-base hits (two homers, two doubles and a triple), racking up 19 total bases, driving in 12 runs and walking three times compared to six strikeouts. Then in his first at-bat in Wednesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, he singled in a pair of runs to bring his RBI total on the spring to 14.

And after that, he smacked a solo shot to bring his spring homer total to three and his spring RBI total to 15.

That ought to change the discussion surrounding the White Sox reported interest in adding a designated hitter. Davidson is expected to get the bulk of the at-bats at DH, and while spring production doesn't at all mean that regular-season success will follow, this kind of showing from Davidson is definitely a positive sign for fans and observers who wondered what he'd do in 2018.

So maybe #MattyDDay isn't enough. Maybe Davidson's White Sox teammates should consider expanding the celebration to #MattyDMonth.

Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again

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USA TODAY

Zack Burdi is pitching off a mound again

Zack Burdi was thought of as a college pitcher who could make the major leagues quickly after he was drafted in 2016.

The White Sox drafted him 26th overall that year and it appeared his quick rise through the minors was going to come true. Burdi reached Triple-A Charlotte by the end of 2016 and had a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16 innings with the Knights.

However, he had Tommy John surgery in July and hasn't pitched in more than 11 months. The 23-year-old from Downers Grove is nearing his return and had video proof.

That's Burdi throwing off a mound, which means a rehab stint might not be far behind. Burdi may not getting into the full swing of things before the minor league season ends in early September, but this is a good sign for him being ready to go for spring training in 2019.

Before going on the disabled list, Burdi had a 4.05 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 17 walks in 33 1/3 innings with the Knights in 2017.

Which NL team is the biggest threat to the Cubs, José Abreu (still) consistently playing well

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USA TODAY

Which NL team is the biggest threat to the Cubs, José Abreu (still) consistently playing well

Ozzie Guillen and Doug Glanville join Leila Rahimi to discuss what National League team is the biggest threat for the Cubs, possible minor league moves for the White Sox and if Addison Russell should be 'always ready' versus expecting an off day.

Plus, we go pregaming with Siera Santos.

Listen to the full Baseball Night in Chicago podcast here