GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Davidson hit .413 with five home runs during a Spring Training performance that was a complete turnaround from his past two years with Triple-A Charlotte.His performance was impressive enough to move the 25-year-old from out of contention in mid-February to firmly in competition for the final
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Davidson hit .413 with five home runs during a Spring Training performance that was a complete turnaround from his past two years with Triple-A Charlotte.
His performance was impressive enough to move the 25-year-old from out of contention in mid-February to firmly in competition for the final roster spot as the team prepares to break camp. Ultimately, Davidson didn't get the storybook ending, as he was optioned to Charlotte on Tuesday along with right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle, utility man Leury Garcia and infielder Carlos Sanchez. Outfielder Jason Coats also was reassigned to Minor League camp.
"I don't know if it's ever good news. It's tough," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "A guy comes in here and has a camp like that, kind of the timing of it. If it had been earlier, that could be different.
"But not really a spot there that fits him, and we need him to go down and continue what he's doing. That's the biggest thing, the positive of where he was last year and going through that rut and where he's at right now. This is the best we've seen him since we acquired him. You continue to go down that path and continue to play well."
Davidson, ranked as the club's No. 29 prospect, had a solid first big league camp with the White Sox, but there was something different about this performance. It might have taken some time for the one-time third baseman of the future to get over his Minor League struggles.
"You see a very relaxed player, one who is comfortable in his own skin, so to speak, at the plate and defensively," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "His swing is much lower maintenance than it's been at any point in his career with us. And he's entering his season on a good note.
"Frankly the fact he put himself in the mix for consideration to break with the club shows how far he's come in a short period of time. There's an old Spring Training axiom: You try not to fall too much in love with young players or out of love with veteran players based on spring results. It's important for Matt and some of our other young players who had good springs to head on out to our affiliates and pick up where they left off, continue that momentum."
Sanchez, who ended up as the starting second baseman last year, was a tough decision as well after he hit .333 with nine extra-base hits. Ventura stated that the team will not be going with 13 pitchers, although Hahn admitted the configuration could change with the team having 19 games in 19 days starting April 13.
So that last roster spot currently comes down between Jerry Sands and Travis Ishikawa.
"Again, these aren't easy decisions," Ventura said. "You like a lot of things about a lot of guys, but when you start looking at your roster and what you'll need and what you'll probably use, that's why you make those decisions."
"These conversations were difficult ones, but difficult from a good-problem-to-have standpoint," Hahn said. "It's nice to have viable options at multiple positions should there be an injury or underperformance."
Kameron Loe has received an 80-game suspension without pay following a positive test for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone metabolite and Methasterone, performance-enhancing substances in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced the suspension on Tuesday.
Loe currently is on the Charlotte roster, and his suspension will be effective at the start of the 2016 International League season. Loe, 34, has pitched nine years in the Majors but did not pitch in affiliated baseball last season.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.