CHICAGO -- In the end, Brad Ausmus didn't wait long Sunday morning to decide whether to give Miguel Cabrera the day off. The rest of the road trip might be more of a waiting game.
After Cabrera left Saturday night's game a sore right ankle, the Tigers slugger was out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the White Sox.
"[Head athletic trainer] Kevin Rand had talked to him to get an idea of how he feels," Ausmus said. "It was based on that discussion. It's day to day. We'll see tomorrow."
Though Ausmus said Saturday night that sitting Cabrera for a stretch of days is an option, it's not the plan for now.
"I think it'll generally be a day-to-day determination," Ausmus said, "just because sometimes he comes in and it feels good, sometimes he comes in and it's aggravated."
The problem with sitting him for a stretch, beyond the absence it creates in the lineup, is that the benefit appears to be iffy at best.
"I don't know that it can be healed fully either until something is done about it or he has a complete offseason," Ausmus said.
With Cabrera out and sinkerballer Rick Porcello on the mound, Don Kelly started at first base, despite an opposing left-hander on the mound in White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana. Unless the matchups dictate otherwise, Ausmus said, Kelly is likely to start at first base on days when Cabrera is out. On days when Cabrera starts at designated hitter, Victor Martinez will start at first base.
Cabrera's situation will not factor into decisions on the Tigers' September callups, Ausmus said. The Toledo Mud Hens have a power-hitting corner infielder in veteran slugger Mike Hessman, owner of 28 home runs there this season, but the 36-year-old Minor League veteran is not on Detroit's 40-man roster.
"We have enough guys that can play first," Ausmus said.