Halladay the hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Before Roy Halladay could reach his seat, he saw Charlie Manuel on the dugout steps.

The career .079 hitter had a question for the manager.

"Are you going to want me to take early on in a situation like that?" Halladay asked.

"I didn't even have a chance to tell you that," Manuel responded.

Halladay swung at the first pitch he saw this spring and grounded out to second. The fact that Halladay -- who has spent his entire career in the American League -- must now hit is of the biggest changes he'll face this season.

In Interleague play, Halladay is 3-for-38 lifetime as a hitter.

"I got anxious," Halladay said. "I think they're probably going to preach taking pitches later in the season. ... But I got up there and I thought I saw it pretty good so I took a hack."

Manuel said he'd like to see Halladay get more at-bats this spring.

"He's all right," Manuel said. "He's going to hit some. He stands in there. He doesn't give up a whole lot of ground. He has to hit more. We have to get him out there and let him take some swings."

But Cliff Lee (7-for-33 as a Phillie with two doubles and an RBI) set a fairly high bar for a former Cy Young award winning pitcher making the transition from the AL to the NL as a hitter.

"Yeah," Manuel said. "He got his cuts in, didn't he?