CLEARWATER, Fla. — It's February 28, and the public's interest in the Phillies' batting order is fascinating. Spring training is a time for experimentation and tinkering. Nothing more, nothing less.
But whenever Charlie Manuel fields a Grapefruit League lineup, there are myriad complaints from the faithful. Ho hum, I guess.
So Ben Revere is leading off Thursday. And Jimmy Rollins is batting second.
The order is interesting, solely because Rollins has not batted second in a regular-season game since May 29, 2004. You want to know the lineup from that day? Of course you do.
Granted, Manuel is using the spring to see different combinations. When Rollins leaves this weekend for the World Baseball Classic, Revere will probably hit at the top every time he plays. Rollins could be gone for two weeks with Team USA. Perhaps this is Manuel just wanting to see what it would look like.
The manager has maintained Rollins is his leadoff hitter. It would take a remarkable showing by Revere at the top to supplant him come April. Maybe, down the line, it happens.
Anyway, Thursday's lineup will surely be received with rationality in Philadelphia.
1. Ben Revere 8
2. Jimmy Rollins 6
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Michael Young 5
6. Domonic Brown 9
7. Darin Ruf 7
8. Laynce Nix 0
9. Erik Kratz 2
Pitchers: Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, Mike Adams, Jake Diekman
First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
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