Two-way player. 27 comments


Matt Davidson at the plate and on the mound.

 

The Rangers couldn’t get Shohei Ohtani last off-season. So, this off-season they got the econo version: Matt Davidson.

The Rangers signed the former White Sox corner infielder and occasional pitcher to a minor league contract and are letting him earn the backup role at first, and a place in the pen.

In today’s game of baseball, when starters go maybe five innings, and it’s not uncommon to burn through six pitchers a game, yet roster sizes are still at just twenty-five, having thirteen pitchers isn’t enough. Finding a position player who doubles as a pitcher will be a much more common occurrence. It’s no longer a conversation piece. It’s an imperative.

The possibilities are interesting.

Davidson bats and throws right-handed. So he would backup Ronald Guzman against tough lefties. (Guzman hits .208 against lefties, Davidson hits .210 against righties.) But in certain situation, Davidson gives Chris Woodward the option to bring him in to face a righty, move him back to first, then put him back on the mound, saving him from burning through his pen.

Davidson’s a Ranger-type hitter, much lot like Gallo. A lot of power. A lot of strikeouts. Not much in the batting average department. In fact, the comparisons to Gallo are appropriate. Both, coincidentally, have played four seasons. Both had as many scouts wanting to draft them as a pitcher as they did a hitter.

The twenty-seven-year-old Davidson has a bit less power than Gallo, but a slightly better batting average:

Gallo’s has a .203 career batting average and a .317 on-base percentage. Davidson is .226/.295. Gallo strikes out once every 2.6 plate appearances. Davidson, once every 2.9. They have about the same RBIs/plate appearance numbers: Gallo, one RBI per 8.7 PA; Davidson, slightly better, one RBI per 7.2 PAs.

Davidson pitched in three games for the White Sox in 2018, an inning per game, without allowing a run. He walked one, gave up one hit, struck out two, with a WHIP of 0.667. Really small sample size, but those are impressive numbers. He wasn’t a guy who came into a blowout.

He doesn’t have the fanfare or pedigree of Ohtani, but Matt Davidson could be a really valuable piece this year for Woodward.

A corner infielder. A reliever. A pinch hitter.

Options, options, options.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Pre-cruise party last night! 3 bands including a guy who played with Genesis……Think i’m the youngest here…bunch of old time rockers. Know it will be a blast due to all the repeat customers…..loading boat in an hour!!

    • dearmidol

      When I went to see America on Saturday night, I noticed bartenders weren’t carding anyone. Why bother? They figured everybody was fifty years or more from being 21.

      • Nathan Whitten

        I saw Robert Cray in Tyler about a month ago. Everyone there except me was old. They all had gray hair if they had any. It was a strange feeling. I saw him in Dallas in the mid 80’s and the audience was young. Fast forward 30 years or so and he attracts a much older audience–except for me. I don’t understand what happened.

        • dearmidol

          That’s what I asked my wife, “Who are all these old people?”

          • Rowdy Yates

            Hah … today’s my birthday. Now in my 70s which I always expected to reach … just not so soon! 🤔

          • dearmidol

            Happy birthday, my friend. I turn 60 this year. Which I never expected.

          • Rowdy Yates

            The older I get the faster the yrs go by. An amazing scientific fact!.

          • Nathan Whitten

            That’s right. 1 year is a small percentage of our life in our 60’s and 70’s. Whereas at age 4, 1 year is 25% of our life! It is no wonder that time passes slowly when we are young…and flies by later on. Also, Happy Birthday!

          • elkaba

            Happy Birthday, Rowdy! Hang in there. You’re just getting started. 🙂

          • calntom

            Happy Birthday ole timer. Best to you this day.

          • GoRangers23

            Happy Birthday Rowdy!! I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this. I hadn’t had time to
            read anything since Saturday. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Craig Gentry was part of yesterday’s article……No, I’m not Jennifer P. Lol. I hope you had a great birthday!!! 🎁🎉

          • GoRangers23
  • Nathan Whitten

    Seriously, do you think he will be working on his pitching in spring training? It would be hard to find time to practice hitting, fielding, and pitching. The practice would have to happen or he would hurt his arm.

    • dearmidol

      That’s a great question, Nathan. I wonder if he arrives with pitchers and catchers.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Thanks. I take things seriously, unless it’s obvious that I shouldn’t. If the guy is really going to be even a part-time pitcher, he would have to get his arm used to it. I learned at age 11 NOT to start throwing balls hard until I had gotten my arm used to soft throwing after a long lay-off. He can’t just get on the mound and throw fastballs if his arm is not “stretched out” or he won’t be able to throw at all. Meaning that he couldn’t play ANY position. If he reports with pitchers and catchers, we’ll know that they are serious about using him as a pitcher.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Writing was on the wall when O was signed. I am amazed by all the talking heads that think O is some kind of anamoly truth be told, there are dozens of players who could

      • Nathan Whitten

        There might be a few that could actually be effective pitchers. Dozens? I don’t think so. O is truly unusual. He’s a top-line pitcher and a very good hitter. If there are dozens of players that can do what he was (and will be) doing, then I think we’d be seeing some of them in action. I think you may have exaggerated just a wee bit.

  • elkaba

    This is a doozy. Odds Rangers are packaging themselves for new owners and a name change?… mind blown. https://www.lonestarball.com/2019/2/4/18205453/texas-rangers-name-change

    • Rowdy Yates

      One of the worst articles ever written. He expects the team to be sold in the next ten years? Wow … a buncha MLB teams will be sold in the next ten years so what kinda imagination does it take to make that prediction? Change the name to the “Arlington Rangers”??? Are you out of your mind! Never ever name a team the “Arlington” anythings. Or he suggest the “Dallas Ft Worth Spurs”? Isn’t there already a very successful Texas basketball franchise named “The Spurs”? Did someone pay for this article to be written?

      • elkaba

        LOL, Yeah, this is kind of like 2 + 2= 483. It’s a stretch to even see how he came up with this. Must be really hard up for story ideas. 🙂

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yeah why name a team after the city it plays in…haha

    • dearmidol

      WTF?

      • elkaba

        I know, right?

    • GoRangers23

      This guy’s article is ridiculous! In the comments at the bottom, he tells that he thinks we should take the word Rangers out of the name too, because we should, in this day and age, distance our baseball team from law inforcement. That makes me nauseous.

      A few weeks ago, on the Ranger’s Facebook page, someone commented that they thought the owners would be selling the team soon. I guess it could have been the same man who wrote the article, but I haven’t heard that anywhere else, so I never posted it. I really hope all of that isn’t true!

      • JacobMcCandles

        Taking down Confederate statues and plaques…..Astros used to be named Colt 45s but people didn’t want them to be associated with guns….cant name teams after Indians….nothing surprises me….

  • calntom

    Newburg wrote an article that posted today on The Athletic. I bought a membership about a month ago.
    For those that don’t have a membership…… Before I bought, I signed on for a free trial which was 3 free articles. If they still have that deal it would be worth doing to read this latest by Newburg.
    I did not pay anything for the free trial.
    The article discusses “Are the 2019 Rangers better than the 2007 Teardown Squad?”
    Good read.

    • JacobMcCandles

      I like Newberg. But I don’t read much original from him. He is very intelligent, Ranger passionate….just not fresh IMO

      TX signed David Carpenter….at one time a dang good reliever….another injury project