PHOENIX -- Less than 24 hours after Jason Kubel collected two hits and drove in the first run of the season in the D-backs' 6-2 Opening Day win over the Cardinals, the club gave the left fielder Tuesday off to rest his left leg, which bothered him at times during Spring Training.
He fought through soreness in his left knee throughout camp, then twisted his ankle on the same leg on March 26.
"Kubel had been a little bit gimpy on and off in the spring, so it just kind of makes sense," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I thought he had a good productive day yesterday, and he'll be good off the bench if we need him. He'll be back in there tomorrow, I'd expect."
Gibson also mentioned Kubel's second-half slump last season, when he hit just .201 after the All-Star break, as another reason he wants to ease the 30-year-old's early workload.
Kubel struggled at the plate as well during camp, batting .156 in 45 spring at-bats, but he said he didn't read too much into those results, instead focusing on sharpening his approach and getting healthy for the regular season.
"I could care less about Spring Training," he said. "It's not even remotely the same feeling during those games. You're just getting ready and it ended up helping me out for yesterday. I felt pretty relaxed at the plate."
Kubel said playing nine innings didn't bother him at all, and the training staff continues to do a good job working on his leg.
Kubel led the D-backs in home runs (30) and RBIs (90) last year in his first season with the club.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.