CLEARWATER, Fla. — Ask the manager, and he is sure to offer a steadfast defense of Jimmy Rollins batting leadoff. Charlie Manuel has done such already this spring. It is quite likely Rollins is the first Phillies batter to hit April 1.
Naturally, Manuel batted Rollins second Thursday. Ben Revere led off.
"I don't know," Manuel said when asked why he did it. "I just wanted to see it. Actually, it looked pretty good. We won the game and got some runs. Ben, the last two days, he has hit the ball pretty good. We'll see how it goes. That will work itself out."
Rollins will play Friday against the Yankees in Tampa and then depart for the World Baseball Classic. He could be gone for almost three weeks, depending on how far the United States advances.