Matt Davidson, despite a .324 batting average and 1.010 OPS, hasn't been in the White Sox starting lineup in four consecutive games.
For Sunday's series finale against the Cleveland Indians, Melky Cabrera got the start at designated hitter (he banged up his wrist running into a wall in left field foul territory Saturday night) with Jacob May playing in left field. Cody Asche, who started at DH in the White Sox last three games and went 0-10, is on the bench.
A few things to note about Davidson's absence: They've come against four of the American League's best right-handers in New York's Masahiro Tanaka and Cleveland's Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Entering Sunday's game, though, the White Sox haven't scored in their last 23 innings and only have had one runner reach second base in their last 20 frames.
Manager Rick Renteria said ostensibly poor matchups for Davidson, who has 12 strikeouts in 23 plate appearances against right-handers this year, haven't been why he hasn't played him.
"It's not so much the matchup," Renteria said. "I think we have other guys we want to go ahead and give them the opportunity to face who they are facing today. Matty has shown he can hit anybody. It has nothing to do with it. It has more to do with putting the guys we have right now in a particular situation to experience this particular club."
Davidson said the gap in starts hasn't been an issue for him, since he's already dealt with a lull in playing time earlier this year. Davidson made his last Cactus League start March 28 and only had one at-bat between then and his regular season debut April 6, when he went 2-4 with a home run, a walk and three RBIs.
"I'm just staying with my approach, I'm watching video and staying up just like I'd be playing," Davidson said. "As long as I'm doing that I think I'll give myself the best chance I can."
Davidson, who made his four seasons ago with the Arizona Diamondbacks, spent nearly three years in Triple-A after the White Sox acquired him in exchange for closer Addison Reed in December of 2013. When he finally broke through with the White Sox last year, he broke his foot in his first game back in the major leagues and missed the rest of the season.
So while Davidson's starts and at-bats have been sporadic this season, he's not taking the chances he gets for granted.
"All of a sudden you spend a couple more years in Triple-A and you see the same thing over and over again, and you really appreciate being up here," Davidson said.
The White Sox upcoming three-game series should provide opportunities for Davidson to get back in Renteria's lineup, with left-handers Jason Vargas and Danny Duffy starting the first two games of the series for the Kansas City Royals.
"You will see him in the lineup coming up a little bit more," Renteria said. "But we will continue to mix and match to do what we can to make sure everybody stays capable of what they need to do."