White Sox send Matt Davidson to minors, waive Mitchell Boggs
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter March 23, 2014 9:37PM
Updated: March 23, 2014 11:35PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox sent third-base prospect Matt Davidson to Class AAA Charlotte and requested waivers on right-hander Mitchell Boggs, two of five roster moves made by the club on Sunday.
Outfielder Jordan Danks and right-hander Jake Petricka also were sent to Charlotte, and right-hander Dylan Axelrod was reassigned to minor-league camp.
Because of his track record, Boggs was the only mild surprise. He pitched poorly in 2013 after ranking as one of baseball’s top setup men in 2012. Even though he had a 12.79 ERA in seven Cactus League games, his $1.1 million contract — which was contingent on making the Opening Day roster — seemed worth taking a flier on.
“That was tough,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. “We just basically ran out of time with him. He showed some improvement in terms of a couple of delivery adjustments that [pitching coach Don Cooper] wanted him to make. In the end, he got beat out by some other options.’’
Boggs’ departure would seem to open the door for rookie Daniel Webb.
The Sox view Davidson, 22, for whom they traded closer Addison Reed, as their third baseman of the future. He had 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats to finish with a .308 Cactus League average and made significant strides defensively, manager Robin Ventura said.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with where Matt Davidson is right now,’’ Hahn said. “He came into camp with a couple of things we wanted to adjust defensively and offensively. Almost immediately he took to the defensive adjustment, and in about the last 10 days, he made the offensive adjustment, which pertains to his timing mechanism.
“This decision is about him getting regular reps and being able to show us on a pitch-to-pitch basis that he’s able to maintain those adjustments. We view him as a long-term solution, someone who’s going to be part of a successful White Sox club for many years, and we really aren’t hung up about whether that starts March 31 or May 1 or Aug. 1.’’
Davidson was disappointed but not surprised.
“I feel like I put myself in a good spot, as far as having a good, collective 2014 — whether how long I’m in Triple-A or if I was in the big leagues,” Davidson said. “It was a goal from the start. But you can’t always have what you want.”
Danks batted .333 and hit five home runs (he also struck out 14 times) this spring but got squeezed out of a crowded outfield of Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo. Hahn is believed to be exploring trade possibilities and wouldn’t mind moving De Aza for a pitcher or Class AA-level prospect. That would create a spot for Danks, arguably the best defensive player of the bunch and a player groomed in their system.
“Jordan obviously had an outstanding spring,’’ Hahn said. “He has really done everything we have asked of him over the last couple of years in terms of coming up and being prepared when the opportunity does arise in Chicago. We told him it was a tough decision but one that was affected by numbers and the rest of the roster and that he needs to go down there and keep doing what he’s doing and be ready when the opportunity inevitably arises in the big leagues.’’
The Sox have 33 players in major-league camp: 14 pitchers, three catchers, 11 infielders and five outfielders.