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Davidson hopes he could be like Ohtani in '19

Infielder says he could incorporate more pitching into repertoire
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Matt Davidson was looking forward to facing Shohei Ohtani in Sunday's series finale against the Angels. But an MRI revealing a tear of Ohtani's ulnar collateral ligament took the two-way sensation out of the rotation and left him swinging the bat as designated hitter.

In some ways, and at a slightly different level, Davidson would like to have similar job responsibilities as Ohtani. The third baseman/first baseman/designated hitter entered Sunday with a .237 average, 20 home runs and 58 RBI. He also has made three scoreless relief appearances, albeit with the game out of reach, and fanned two in three innings.

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CHICAGO -- Matt Davidson was looking forward to facing Shohei Ohtani in Sunday's series finale against the Angels. But an MRI revealing a tear of Ohtani's ulnar collateral ligament took the two-way sensation out of the rotation and left him swinging the bat as designated hitter.

In some ways, and at a slightly different level, Davidson would like to have similar job responsibilities as Ohtani. The third baseman/first baseman/designated hitter entered Sunday with a .237 average, 20 home runs and 58 RBI. He also has made three scoreless relief appearances, albeit with the game out of reach, and fanned two in three innings.

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If Davidson were to incorporate pitching into his 2019 repertoire, he doesn't believe training would have to necessarily change.

"Throwing program and getting your arm in shape would be the biggest thing," Davidson said. "I was pretty sore after that third outing.

"Just the intensity of doing that it's pretty tough when you give everything you got every pitch. It's pretty intense. But yeah, definitely, I would love to explore that."

When asked if he had talked to the White Sox about the future pitching add-on, Davidson said, "We haven't really gone anything too, I would say, formal.

"But we'll see what happens," said Davidson, who has done sides here and there and tried to play a little long toss since his last outing on Aug. 6 against the Yankees. "If the opportunity was given to me I think I would like to do it."

Video: NYY@CWS: Davidson works scoreless 9th, K's Stanton

Even a couple of innings per month could help some in relieving the bullpen's workload. As White Sox manager Rick Renteria pointed out, there could be a logistics issue involved if Davidson was playing first base and he needed to warm him up to get in a game, for example.

At this point, Davidson can enjoy his two-way accomplishments this season and admire the high level of work turned in by Ohtani with both the bat and on the mound.

"It's really impressive," said Davidson of Ohtani. "He's obviously hitting really well. He pitched really well when he was healthy, too. It's cool to see. It's exciting. Wish we could have faced him.

"I think that's something in the future there will be a lot more guys doing it. Right now, there are so many utility guys who play tons of positions. It used to be solely kind of the bench role 10 years go. Now, some teams are switching guys every day almost. I could see that in the future."

Third to first
Jose Abreu took grounders and did some sprint work prior to Sunday's series finale. Renteria is hopeful Abreu returns to the lineup Monday in Kansas City, after being out of action since Aug. 20 due to surgery relieving pain caused by testicular torsion.

"We are not trying to rush him," Renteria said. "We want to make sure he feels really good about where he's at and as soon as we are assured that he feels good and our guys in the medical staff feel good about it, then we will go ahead and proceed."

• The White Sox have yet to announce a starter for Tuesday's game at Kauffman Stadium, a spot previously belonging to Michael Kopech, who was diagnosed with a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. In a pitching-related move, the White Sox outrighted right-hander Tyler Danish to Triple-A Charlotte. Danish finished 1-0 with a 7.11 ERA over seven relief outings for the White Sox this season. His move leaves the White Sox 40-man at 39.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Matt Davidson