CHICAGO -- The combination of Matt Davidson and Cody Asche had a total of two plate appearances at designated hitter coming into the 2017 season.Davidson, 26, and Asche, 26, figure to get a solid amount of chances early on for the White Sox in this role, a lineup spot not
CHICAGO -- The combination of Matt Davidson and Cody Asche had a total of two plate appearances at designated hitter coming into the 2017 season.
Davidson, 26, and Asche, 26, figure to get a solid amount of chances early on for the White Sox in this role, a lineup spot not easy for even the most experienced of players. Ask Avisail Garcia, who didn't exactly thrive in his move to DH at age 24, or Adam Dunn, an accomplished slugger with 462 home runs who admitted to not nailing down the perfect DH process by his fourth season doing the job.
But both Davidson and Asche seem to be embracing the bigger picture.
"As long as my name is on that lineup card, I'm happy," Asche said. "I won't complain."
"You have to learn how to do it," Davidson said. "The biggest key is to be excited about it. I'm excited to play, even with the DH in there. You get to play in the big leagues."
Asche started at DH in Tuesday's makeup contest of Monday's postponed regular-season opener against the Tigers. The left-handed hitter, who broke camp with the White Sox after entering Spring Training as a non-roster invite, struck out three times, was hit by a pitch and scored a run during a 6-3 loss.
Those three strikeouts had far more to do with facing Justin Verlander than adjusting to the DH role. The right-handed-hitting Davidson should get the call on Thursday, with left-hander Matthew Boyd taking the mound in the finale of this rain-shortened series.
"It's a little bit easier here because they have the cage right behind the dugout," Davidson said. "You can run in between a little bit. I try to always be standing as if I was playing defense, trying not to sit in between innings. The benefit is having the cage down there and being able to do that: staying in the game."
"Don't hit more because you are DHing. Just do your normal thing, and go out and compete when it's your turn to go up to bat," Asche said. "I just treat it like I'm on the field. That's what I did during Spring Training."
Manager Rick Renteria has stated that the DH role won't be filled by just one player, at least not at the season's outset. There will be days where Jose Abreu moves from first to DH, or Todd Frazier moves from third to first and Davidson gets to play his natural defensive spot at third.
If Melky Cabrera starts at DH, Asche -- who has the ability to handle all four corners around the diamond -- could play left field. The opportunity stands as the main thing for these young players, who don't want to overthink their big league chance, regardless of the new responsibilities.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.