Manuel: 'He is our leadoff hitter'

Regardless of his decision to bench struggling short stop Jimmy Rollins for at least two games, manager Charlie Manuel remains committed that his star's proper place in the line-up is as the leadoff hitter.

Manuel, who met with Rollins before the game and told him to take the next two days off in hopes to clear his mind, said that the Phillies' line-up needs Rollins at the top.

Center fielder Shane Victorino, the normal No. 2 hitter who batted first last night, entered the game hitting .305 with a .371 on base percentage. And second baseman Chase Utley has hit second in 16 games this season. But Manuel firmly believes that Rollins belongs at the top of the line-up.

“I think he’s the leadoff hitter,” Manuel said. “I think he is our leadoff hitter. Victorino has hit in there and he is the guy that probably replaces Jimmy when he isn’t in the game at the leadoff hole, but at the same time, I look at both of those guys as hitting in the top of the order. To me, we have to get Jimmy right. That’s the whole purpose of sitting him. I don’t see how moving him around in the line-up helps one bit at all here. I don’t understand that. I don’t see it. And I’ve been around him for five years now as a player, and I think that he is our leadoff hitter. And I think for us to get our offense going and everything like that, the big thing is trying to get him going.”

Rollins is hitless in his last five games, going 0-for-19 in that time.