Updated: April 26, 2014 6:23AM
PEORIA, Ariz. — Jose Abreu was back in the lineup after taking two days off to rest his sore left ankle. Abreu said five days of rest were recommended, but that was “way too much” for him.
Abreu’s mobility looked fine Monday. In the first inning, he dived to his left and gloved a ball on the foul line before flipping to rookie right-hander Erik Johnson for an out. He got a workout at first, letting Robinson Cano’s ground ball go under his glove and through his legs for an error in the third, then seconds later made a backhand stop of Kyle Seager’s smash as he was holding Cano at first.
The concern is that the ankle issue will linger and will force Abreu into intermittent rests during the season. But manager Robin Ventura doesn’t seem worried, nor does Abreu, who taped his ankles while he played in Cuba. Abreu suspects the soreness stems from using arch supports and said he’s “feeling really good.’’
“It’s not on my mind,’ he said. “It cannot be in my mind. We’re just excited for the season.”
A quality start for Johnson
Johnson wasn’t great but wasn’t bad, allowing three runs in six innings in his last outing before the regular season. Johnson allowed four hits and three walks and struck out three.
“Today was a good one to end on and another good one to build off of,’’ Johnson said. “If I can put as many zeros on the board for my team, be aggressive in the strike zone early, then good things will happen for me.’’
General manager Rick Hahn proudly called the Jose Quintana success story a team effort. When the Yankees chose not to add Quintana to their 40-man roster after his 2011 Class A season in Tampa, the Sox waited less than a week to snag him in the minor-league free-agent market.
Quintana was signed by Dan Fabian, Del Mathews and Daniel Zien from the baseball operations and player-development departments on recommendations from scouts Joe Siers and Daraka Shaheed, and then-GM Ken Williams authorized a spot on the 40-man roster. Assistant to the GM Jeremy Haber negotiated Quintana’s new $26.5 million deal announced Monday.
This and that
Manager Robin Ventura said he and pitching coach Don Cooper are finalizing plans on how they will set the rotation behind Opening Day starter Chris Sale.
◆ Gordon Beckham (left oblique) took ground balls but remains doubtful to be ready by Opening Day. “There is definitely going to be a cutoff day here pretty soon,’’ Ventura said. “He’s going to have to get some at-bats and know he can play without feeling like he’s going to tweak or pull something.’’
◆ Matt Lindstrom (left oblique) said he felt fine in his second outing Sunday. He is scheduled to pitch against the Rockies on Tuesday. Lindstrom is experimenting with a new pitch, a cut fastball.