Jose Abreu hit third for the fourth time in five games on Friday.
Part of that was due to the Seattle Mariners starting left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias. But another key is that White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks it makes sense at times to have his best hitter in the third spot.
Abreu, who brought a 17-game hitting streak into Friday’s contest, has made 42 starts hitting third compared with 30 in the cleanup spot. But Ventura won’t hesitate to bat Abreu in the fourth spot if there’s a righty on the mound and Conor Gillaspie is going good because a left-right-left-right split gives the lineup more balance at the top.
“There are times when I think we're better off with him batting third,” Ventura said. “And there are times, when Conor's swinging it good and depending on the matchup, it's nice to have Conor in front of him, get some more guys on base when he gets up there. I don't think there's any set way to do it with (Abreu), but I know I like guys on when he comes to the plate.
“He can bat anywhere. I wouldn't necessarily bat him leadoff, but other than that, any spot in the lineup would be a good one. But you want him to get up there more times than not with guys on base.”