Ankle pain moves Jose Abreu to DH spot

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu was moved to the designated-hitter role Friday as a precaution for his sore left ankle.

Abreu looked hobbled in Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs but played first base until he was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.

Adam Dunn will play first base Friday.

Asked about it before Friday’s game, Abreu downplayed the issue.

“It’s not in an injury; it bothers me a little bit,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “We don’t know exactly where it’s coming from. It might be from playing, but it’s nothing alarming.”

Abreu also had a left ankle problem in spring training but said this new injury is in a different part of his ankle. He received treatment in the trainer’s room before and after Thursday’s game, then again before Friday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“I don't see it being an issue for too long,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He's just sore. It's just something that's been popping up. He hits a lot of balls off his ankles. He hasn't felt comfortable enough to wear that [protective] brace.

“But I think just tonight we’ll keep him off first base. Hopefully it settles down and he's all right, but it's hard to watch him limping around. You think it might be getting worse, so tonight we’ll DH him.”

The American League rookie of the month and player of the month for April said the ankle only bothers him when he runs and that pain in the left ankle is better than having it in the right ankle.

“The front leg for me is harder for me because that’s where I put all my weight when I swing, so you know the back leg wouldn't be as bad,” said Abreu, who leads the AL in home runs (12), RBIs (35), extra-base hits (24) and slugging percentage (.608). “It’s one of those things that happens. You just have to work through it, and I’m prepared to work through it.”

Abreu is determined to not let it slow him down.

“I wouldn’t say I'm limited,” he said. “I’ll play every day. It’s not that bad.”

Abreu has started at first base 34 times this season. Friday night will be his second turn in the DH spot.