MILWAUKEE -- Jose Abreu is out of the White Sox lineup Wednesday against Milwaukee, and will get a rare two-day break thanks to Thursday’s off day.
Adam LaRoche will start for the first time during this week’s three-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park, playing first base and hitting fifth against right-hander Jimmy Nelson. Manager Robin Ventura said Abreu’s off day was timed largely to get him those back-to-back rest days after he’s played in all 30 of the club’s games this season.
Part of it, though, is getting LaRoche — who pinch-hit Monday but didn’t play Tuesday — a start. Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio also replace Conor Gillaspie and Micah Johnson at third and second base, respectively, in Wednesday’s lineup.
“With an off day tomorrow you can get Jose two days, hopefully, off his feet and refreshed,” Ventura said. “And you can get at-bats for LaRoche too. It’s tough for him going pretty much four days with only a pinch-hit. And Beckham too, same kind of deal there. Luckily those guys can fill in different positions and get them in there and keep them fresh.”
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Ventura floated the possibility of Abreu playing third base during this series earlier in the year, but that option was ruled out when the first baseman fouled a ball off his foot over the weekend against Cincinnati. Abreu said his foot is fine but the White Sox didn’t want to risk anything with their $68 million franchise cornerstone.
While Abreu said he’d prefer to be in the lineup, he respects Ventura’s decision to give him a bit of a break.
“I think that it was a tough decision for him, but you know, I also understand that he’s trying to give some at-bats to LaRoche,” Abreu said through a translator. “He hasn’t played in the last few days. He’s trying to do the best for the team. Like I said before, I have to be ready also if he needs me during the game or something.
“… You can always benefit from everything,” Abreu added. “I think that the layoff is good. I don’t in that particular case for me, but it has to be something good. There’s always something good for everybody in a specific situation.”
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At 28, Abreu isn’t at the point in his career where he could be moved to being a full-time designated hitter. The White Sox like his defensive skills and signed Adam LaRoche — who’s regarded as a solid defender — to be a designated hitter.
That’s something Abreu appreciates, given he doesn’t see himself ever making that move to DH.
“No, no, no. Not at all. I don’t think (I’ll) be in that spot,” Abreu said. “I like to play. I like to be in the field everyday. For me, that is something that is not in my mind, either now or in the future. I don’t like to be DH. I want to be in the field every day.”