Analysis

White Sox: Spare us the Match-up Spiel and Play Matt Davidson Everyday

What if I told you that the White Sox offense was ranked among the worst in the American League through the first three weeks of the season, and the White Sox were shutout in back-to-back games, even held to just one base-runner who advanced past first base in a span of 18 innings, all the while they have a player sitting on their bench hitting .324 with three home runs and 10 RBI, that the manager refuses to play because of “match-ups”.

Oh wait, that’s actually a description of the real-time events on the south side of Chicago.

The Chicago White Sox have been bad offensively through the first 17 games of the 2017 campaign, ranking 28th in all of baseball with a team batting average of just .211 entering play on Monday. Friday night the White Sox were blanked by Corey Kluber as he fired a three-hit complete game shutout against the Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cody Asche played designated hitter, and recorded a seemingly signature 0-3. Granted he wasn’t the only problem offensively, but just follow me here.

Saturday, instead of playing that guy hitting over .300 with three home runs and 10 RBI, White Sox Manager Rick Renteria opted to stay with Asche, who is hitting .057 on the season (not a typo, he’s really hitting two quarters above zero) rather than playing the hot-bat, because…. “match-ups”. Guess what? The White Sox were blanked again by the Indians, and once again Cody Asche logged an 0-3 while Davidson spit sunflower seeds and played cheerleader on the bench.

Now Sunday rolls around, and still, Matt Davidson finds his name scribbled in the bottom potion of Manager Rick Renteria‘s lineup card, again as a reserve. Thankfully, Cody Asche accompanied him on the bench, but that was only because Renteria decided to DH Melky Cabrera, and play Jacob May in left-field. Yes, Jacob May who is sporting an .033 batting average. Fun fact: It has been 11 days since Cody Asche has collected a base-hit for the White Sox.

The White Sox went on to win on Sunday, and managed to plate six runs on the day thanks to multi-hit games from Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu, and contributions from Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia, as well as an uncharacteristic three-error game by the Indians. This doesn’t change the narrative in the slightest bit.

Matt Davidson hasn’t seen a live pitch since April 18, and the two guys playing the two positions that he can play (third-base, designated hitter), Todd Frazier and Cody Asche,  are a combined 6-72 (.083). Davidson, has five more hits than both of them combined, in half the at-bats.

Source: David Maxwell/Getty Images North America

So what’s the solution here? First of all, Cody Asche should have been DFA’d like a week ago. Come on Rick [Hahn], get it together man. That hasn’t happened yet, I have no idea why, and I can’t wait for it to happen, but until that time Renteria should relegate Asche to Gatorade cooler duty, and play Davidson every day. I don’t care if you play him every day at DH, if you mix him and Frazier up at third base and DH to keep them both fresh, heck at this point I’d rather see Davidson play everyday at third-base. I love Todd Frazier, but he is in one hell of a funk, and he just doesn’t look right.

This was supposed to be Matt Davidson‘s time to shine, his season to finally put it all together and audition for a spot on this club moving forward. Not a season to watch Asche flounder around .100 in what could very well be his final major-league season of his career unless he has a monumental turn-around (probably not happening).

Hey Rick [Renteria] Newsflash, not only do the numbers scream that Davidson should be playing, not only is this supposed to be his opportunity, you’re “match-up” theory doesn’t even make sense to this point. Matt Davidson is hitting .318 (7-22) against right-handed pitching, and .333 (4-12) against left-handed pitching… So what match-up exactly are you trying to avoid?!

So please, while the fan-base still has hope in your managerial fortitude, spare us the match-up crap and play the kid everyday. This is his opportunity, an opportunity that he has earned, and one that he has capitalized upon in his limited playing time this season. This is supposed to be a season of evaluating internal talent, and weeding out those who are not going to be a part of the future on the south side. Playing Asche, a bona fide bust, and letting Matt Davidson sit on the bench while you piss away every bit of confidence and momentum that this kid has garnered is absolutely ridiculous.

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