TAMPA, Fla. — Earlier, we discussed some hints that Juan Pierre stands to gain quite a deal of playing time. He's leading off for Charlie Manuel a day after officially making the team.
Manuel said he's running through lineup combinations in his head.
"I want to try Pierre at the top," Manuel said. "Pierre, to me, has always been a top of the order hitter."
How married to the idea is Manuel? Well, he's even talking about batting Jimmy Rollins lower. That's when you know it just got real.
"Jimmy can hit in the three hole," Manuel said. "When he's hitting, he can hit anywhere. I've put him there before and he's hit well. Last year, he was having a hard time getting off to a good start."
Friday's lineup doesn't include John Mayberry Jr. When asked who Pierre could take time from, Manuel did not name Mayberry specifically, but there was a strong implication he's the guy.
"What the hell? Our expectation is to win," Manuel said. "We have to try to put the best team on the field every day. It's always good to be good enough to develop some players as you go along. But at the same time, you should be ready to play here. We're in this to win. Go ask ownership. We're not in it to mess around. Keep your job. Make sure you stay out there. That's what the game's about. It's not about feeling sorry or hurting people's feelings. I get my feelings hurt every day. Every day, seriously. Go ask Joe Girardi, I guarantee you he'll say the same thing. Every day you'll get your feelings hurt. Forget that. You have to be a man to play this boys' game. That's the old saying."
Mayberry is .188 (13 for 69) this spring with four doubles.
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