Rangers two-way player not looking to be full-time reliever
Matt Davidson played third base Wednesday for the Texas Rangers, picking up for Asdrubal Cabrera, and even launched a home run in a 9-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
That was what he did in the afternoon.
He spent part of his morning climbing a pitching mound for his first bullpen session of the spring as the corner infielder tries to add right-handed pitcher to make a stronger case to be on the Opening Day roster.
(By the way, he also homered Thursday.)
Davidson threw another bullpen session Saturday and was listed as the starting third baseman Sunday for the Rangers split squad that played the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was looking at it as another test to see how his arm might rebound during the season.
“I’m looking to replicate where I can throw 20 pitches and be able to play third the next day and not have my arm hanging pretty sore,” Davidson said. “That’s what I’m trying to get ready for.”
Davidson said that he has had no issues with his arm throughout camp, which opened with him in a throwing program to build arm strength.
His average fastball velocity in three scoreless appearances last season with the Chicago White Sox was 89.9 mph, but velo isn’t his main concern early in camp. He’s trying to find the right balance between the intensity of pitching without overexerting his arm.
“I think the biggest thing I learned last year is that you’re competing and the intensity of it is more the straining part,” said Davidson, who pitched in high school. “As an infielder you don’t throw max effort. If you have a do-or-die player, that’s when you throw hard. Other than that you’re in a good rhythm and not pushing.”
The two-way player said earlier in camp that his intention isn’t to be the next Shohei Ohtani or even win a bullpen spot, but to be able to help the bullpen by pitching in mop-up situations. Davidson said that he will throw another bullpen Tuesday, followed by a round or two of live batting practice and then a game.