White Sox put Davidson on DL, call up Matt Skole

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Matt Skole, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run against San Diego Padres starting pitcher Luis Perdomo, left, during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Padres defeated the White Sox 4-3. (AP)

CLEVELAND — The White Sox put designated hitter Matt Davidson on the disabled list (retroactive to May 25) with back spasms Monday and purchased the contract of infielder Matt Skole from Class AAA Charlotte. They also designated right-hander Ricardo Pinto for assignment.

Davidson, the Sox home run leader with 11 who is off to the best start of his career, has missed five consecutive games.

“It took a couple of day to kind of get back and I probably rushed it too soon,” Davidson said. “Hopefully I’ll take that same amount of time and progress it and be back in a week.”

Davidson said he did not have an MRI.

“It’s kind of in between lower-mid,” Davidson. “More on my right side.”

Skole, 28, made his major league debut Monday playing first base and he singled leading off the second inning and homered in the fourth against Indians right-hander Adam Plutko. He scored on a triple by Adam Engel in a two-run Sox first that helped the visitors build a 3-0 lead for right-hander Dylan Covey.

Skole was batting .259 with 12 doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI, 22 walks and a .360 on-base percentage in 42 games with Charlotte.

“Oh man. It’s surreal, really,” he said Monday of walking into a major league clubhouse for the first time as a player. “I don’t think it’s really settled in yet. I’m really kind of…pretty sure when I go out there for batting practice and see that stadium, and everything surrounding me, it will start kicking in. Right now I’m still floating on a cloud and just enjoying every bit of it.”

Since getting drafted by the Nationals in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, the left-handed hitting Skole’s career has been saddled by injuries, including a torn left (non-throwing) UCL in 2013. After entering the 2017 season rated as the best power hitter in the Nationals organization, Skole was limited to 64 games with Class AAA Syracuse because of quad and oblique injuries.

Skole signed with the Sox as a minor-league free agent on January 22. He will wear No. 41 and have family in the stands to see his debut. Before calling them to share the news, he said he “had to sit down for about 30 minutes and had to get myself together.”

“I was shaking, I was so excited. It’s been a long journey for me. I’ve been through a lot of stuff: injuries, being in the minor leagues, on and off the roster. It’s been a long road, so just to get that call and make that call to my dad and mom, it was pretty cool.”

There were cheers and screams near the first base side of the seats after Skole’s single to right, presumably from his family.

Manager Rick Renteria liked what he saw of Skole, who got a good look during spring training.

“He gives you a great at-bat,” Renteria said. “We saw that in the spring. He was a very highly touted prospect originally with the Nationals. When we acquired him we were looking for someone to give us good at-bats, have some power, some flexibility in the field, which he does bring to the table.

“This is his window now and hopefully he has a nice showing and is able to relax.”

Here is the Sox lineup: Yoan Moncada 2B, Yolmer Sanchez 3B, Jose Abreu DH, Daniel Palka RF, Matt Skole 1B, Tim Anderson SS, Adam Engel CF, Charlie Tilson LF, Alfredo Gonzalez C. Dylan Covey P.

Pinto, 24, was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for international signing bonus pool money on March 28.

The Sox 40-man roster remains at 40.

This and that

Luis Robert started in center field and led off in his first extended spring training game since suffering a strained ligament in his left thumb. Robert, the No. 25 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will begin playing A ball — most likely Class A Winston-Salem — after the last day of extended spring training next Monday.

*Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make his third minor league rehab start Tuesday, for Class AAA Charlotte.


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