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Hip flexor sidelines Swisher

Hip flexor sidelines Swisher

CHICAGO -- With his abundance of frenetic energy, it's hard to keep Nick Swisher in the same place for any extended period of time.

So, one can only imagine how many miles he will walk in the White Sox dugout during Friday's series opener with the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

Swisher understands manager Ozzie Guillen's decision to bench him, as he tries to heal from a sore right hip flexor caused by his dives on the warning track and crashes into the outfield wall while chasing baseballs.

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"I promise you that won't be the last time," said Swisher of his hard-nosed play. "Yeah, I'm with Ozzie on this one -- taking a day off to get [healthier]."

Swisher's absence caused Guillen to draw up a unique lineup in an attempt to conquer Detroit southpaw Dontrelle Willis. For starters, Carlos Quentin will move from the middle of the order to the leadoff position.

The young right-handed-hitting left fielder has posted a .261 average and driven home eight runs in his six straight starts. Quentin's RBI total ranks second on the team to Joe Crede's 11. But Quentin also has a .346 on-base percentage and gives Guillen a patient hitter to open the attack.

From Quentin's recollection, Friday marks the first time he has batted lead off at any point of his career.

"Maybe I'll take the first pitch and then go back to work and get quality at-bats," said Quentin of his leadoff approach.

"Quentin can get on base and give me a little speed at the top," Guillen added. "He swings the bat real well, and that's the reason we put him there."

Toby Hall earned his second trip of the season behind the plate, while Brian Anderson became the last White Sox position player to get a start. Anderson, who had one double in four at-bats entering Friday, took over for Swisher in center and was scheduled to hit seventh.

"Can I get them to sign the lineup card?" said Anderson with a laugh of his first 2008 start. "Seriously, I'm pretty pumped. It will be good to get consecutive at-bats, instead of just a few at the end of the game.

"I'm seeing the ball better and I feel good. I'm a lot quieter at the plate and really relaxed. It's a comfort level. I can imagine how it would feel if I had a lot more at-bats, but I still feel good, so I have no complaints."

Guillen plans to sit Swisher again on Saturday, with the quick turnaround for the 12:05 p.m. CT start. But the injury is not a major one, despite Guillen's playful nature to open his pregame interview session.

"He's hurt and will be on the 60-day DL," said Guillen with a wry smile. "If the game was at 7 p.m. [Saturday], I might play him. But I'll give him one more day to recover."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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