ATLANTA — Charlie Manuel played coy for the final moments of spring training when asked why Ben Revere was spending time in the leadoff spot of his lineup. Manuel is steadfast in his defense of Jimmy Rollins as leadoff man. There was no reason to think the manager would not stick with it.
But in the first lineup of 2013, Rollins is hitting second and Revere is at the top.
It marks the first time since May 29, 2004 that Rollins will bat second in a major-league game, meaning it's the first time Manuel has ever placed him there.
The full lineup:
1. Ben Revere 8
2. Jimmy Rollins 6
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Michael Young 5
6. Domonic Brown 7
7. John Mayberry Jr. 9
8. Erik Kratz 2
9. Cole Hamels 1
Rollins batted third on opening day each of the last two seasons because Chase Utley was injured. This time, he is displaced because Manuel was apparently impressed enough by Revere.
Manuel went with Mayberry over Laynce Nix in right field. Both players have strong career numbers against Braves starter Tim Hudson. Nix is .308/.333/.462 in 27 plate appearances. Mayberry is .308/.471/.769 in 17 plate appearances. Two of Mayberry's four hits are homers.
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