Manuel decides to split up Chase Utley and Ryan Howard

During spring training, Charlie Manuel said that splitting up lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard with a right-handed batter was something he would consider. One day after unheralded Pirates lefty Jeff Locke stymied the Phillies for six innings, the manager made the switch. Against the much more heralded lefty Wandy Rodriguez,  Utley is batting second tonight and Howard is batting fourth.

Combined, Utley and Howard are 4-for-34 with no home runs, three walks, three extra base hits and 15 strikeouts in 37 plate appearances against lefties this season. Ben Revere and Domonic Brown are a combined 4-for-24 with six strikeouts, one walk and one extra base hit.

The Phillies' right-handed bats have not fared much better. Young is 3-for-15 with a pair of walks, a pair of strikeouts and no extra base hits. John Mayberry Jr., who is batting fifth, is 3-for-10 with two extra base hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-20 with two doubles, no walks and seven strikeouts against lefties. The good news is that Humberto Quintero, who is catching Roy Halladay and batting eighth, is 2-for-2 with a double and has the same number of RBIs against lefties as the rest of the team's right-handed hitters combined (2).

Halladay versus Rodriguez, coming up at 7:05.