Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Halladay's pitch count will be monitored Sunday

Halladay's pitch count will be monitored Sunday

 

Charlie Manuel let Roy Halladay throw 132 pitches Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies’ manager defended that decision Wednesday, but said that’s not likely to happen again when Halladay faces the Boston Red Sox Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

"I think he’s geared for it because he’s done it the last couple of years more than anybody else (on the Phillies’ staff)," Manuel said. "At the same time, I think you got to monitor him."

Manuel said because Halladay threw 132 pitches Tuesday and 121 in his previous outing at Colorado, he will carefully monitor the righthander’s pitch count against Boston.

"This next outing, I don’t want to see him throw 125 pitches," Manuel said. "I feel over the course of the year, that could definitely wear him down."

Utley returns, Rollins hits sixth

Chase Utley returned to the lineup Wednesday night after missing the previous two games with flu-like symptoms. Jimmy Rollins, however, did not return to the leadoff spot in the batting order.

"I have (Shane) Victorino (hitting first)," manager Charlie Manuel said before his team’s game against the Chicago Cubs. "That’s big news. Maybe they’ll put me on TV."

It’s not earth-shattering news that Victorino remained in the leadoff spot even though Utley returned to the lineup and batted third, the position in the order occupied by Rollins in his first two games back from the disabled list.

Manuel moved Rollins to sixth in the batting order and dropped Raul Ibanez to seventh. The manager said Rollins will eventually be back in the top spot.

"Yeah, I look at Jimmy as our leadoff hitter, and there are a lot of reasons I look at him that way," Manuel said. "I think right now Victorino is hitting and playing good, but Jimmy is our legit base stealer. I think right now Jimmy needs more at-bats and I think dropping him down frees him up to be a little bit more aggressive and swing the bat. I think he needs a little more time to get his timing down from the right side."

Since replacing Rollins in the leadoff spot after the shortstop went on the disabled list in early April, Victorino has batted .301 (40-for-133) with a .343 on-base percentage. He has also hit seven home runs, driven in 27 and scored 25.

Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
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The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

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