Quentin back in White Sox lineup

OAKLAND, Calif. -- If the White Sox end up banning coffee from the clubhouse, Carlos Quentin will be the guy to blame.

You know your intensity level is high when it makes Ozzie Guillen nervous.

Yes, Guillen was glad to have one of the mainstays in the middle of the order back in the lineup after Quentin missed the entire series at Seattle with a bruised right hand.

Guillen had Quentin batting fifth and playing in right field Friday in Oakland. But when Quentin missed a trio of games earlier this month, it was because he was playing in right field. He bruised a knee after he went tumbling for a fly ball in a game against the Los Angeles Angels.

The obvious answer to how to take care of somebody who appears to be as injury-prone as Quentin would be to use him as the designated hitter more often. But that has its problems as well.

"This guy, when he's DHing, he looks like a bull going to the ring," Guillen said. "He's just so anxious. It takes more out of his at-bats. When you play in the outfield, you make an out [and] you go in the outfield and think about playing defense. When you DH, you come in here and swing and swing and swing and swing. This guy never stops swinging. That's why when I DH him I wear him down."

Guillen will try the DH spot with Quentin anyway. He will be used there at least once in the final two games of the series against the A's and possibly in both.

Whatever it takes, Guillen knows he needs his big three run producers of Alex Rios, Paul Konerko and Quentin to keep on delivering if the White Sox are to have success.

"If those guys in the middle of the lineup swing the bat like they swing the bat I don't see why we're searching for trades," Guillen said. "I always say, 'Why are you looking for left-handed hitters? Anybody can be a left-handed hitter. You're looking for a good hitter.'

"Carlos in our lineup makes our lineup a lot stronger and he makes a lot of people a lot better around him. The past month he has been swinging the bat well and if those three guys swing the bat consistently, this ballclub is going to hit."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.