- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - White Sox slugger Jose Abreu could play his first major league game at third base next week in Milwaukee, and even he isn’t sure how it will go.

Manager Robin Ventura is toying with the idea of playing the Cuban first baseman at third against the Brewers so he also can get Adam LaRoche’s bat in the lineup. LaRoche is Chicago’s primary designated hitter, but he won a Gold Glove at first in 2012 with Washington.

Abreu “can do it,” Ventura said before Friday night’s game against Cincinnati was rained out. “I’m not saying any of these guys when they go to a position that they’re not comfortable with, or it might not be his best position, but he can play it. So I think if we need that offense to stay in there with Rochey to be able to get him to do it, we can move him over to third base. So yeah, I’m not afraid to do that.”

Abreu, who was the AL Rookie of the Year last season, has made 131 career starts in the field, all at first base. He expressed surprise at the idea of playing third when approached by reporters on Friday, but said he was game for the idea.

“If it is the best for the team, I will be very glad to do it,” he said through a translator. “That’s it. I’m always trying to help the team in whatever the team needs me to help them.”

Abreu said he has played third before, but it was a long time ago.

A beautiful, sunny Friday in Chicago gave way to clouds and then finally showers. With more storms in the forecast, it was called after a 32-minute delay.

The rainout will be made up in a traditional doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Reds will send right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jason Marquis to the mound, and the White Sox will give the ball to Hector Noesi and Carlos Rodon.

It will be the first major league start for Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft. The left-hander has no record and a 2.84 ERA in three relief appearances.

The White Sox think Rodon will be a key part of their rotation for years to come, but they are keeping a close watch on his innings this year.

“There’s no guarantees that he’s gonna stay in the rotation even if he has a good game,” Ventura said. “I expect him to have a good game. The way it sits right now he would still be back in the bullpen and getting us some innings there.”

Cincinnati will be without Joey Votto for the opener of the doubleheader after the 2010 NL MVP was suspended for one game and fined by Major League Baseball for making contact with an umpire during Wednesday night’s 3-0 victory at Pittsburgh.

“There’s no really bad or really good guys here,” Votto said before the game was postponed. “And I’m not one or the other, so I just felt a responsibility to younger players in the league, minor leagues, high school, college, youth leagues. Felt the responsibility to stand up for my actions.”

DURING THE DELAY

The White Sox showed Game 3 of the Chicago Bulls’ NBA playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the videoboard in center field during the rain delay.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: SS Zack Cozart was in the lineup after missing three games with left wrist and right hand injuries. … C Devin Mesoraco (sore left hip) also was in the lineup at designated hitter. He has been limited to pinch-hitting duties. … RHPs Homer Bailey and Matt Magill had Tommy John surgery on Friday.

White Sox: 3B Conor Gillaspie (feet) was out of the lineup for the second straight day, but Ventura said he should be fine on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Cueto (2-3, 2.72 ERA) is looking to bounce back from a poor outing in a 5-0 loss at Atlanta on Sunday. Marquis (3-1, 5.22 ERA) is 3-0 with a 4.66 ERA in his last three starts.

Noesi (0-3, 6.75 ERA) is 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his last eight starts dating to last year. Rodon last pitched last Saturday, throwing three scoreless innings in a 5-3 loss at Minnesota.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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