Lineup shakeup: Utley bats second; Young 3rd

Lineup shakeup: Utley bats second; Young 3rd

April 24, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Needing some sort of switch to jolt a stagnating lineup, Charlie Manuel has Chase Utley batting second for the first time this season against Pirates lefty Wandy Rodriguez.

Michael Young bats third, splitting up lefties Utley and Ryan Howard. John Mayberry slides into the five-hole previously occupied by Young, and the 6-7-8 remains Domonic Brown, Ben Revere and the catcher’s spot.

"I just wanted to do it that way. I didn't wanna put the lefties together," Manuel said.

"When Utley and Howard are hitting left-handed pitchers I don't mind it much, but when they're not hitting I want to get a right-handed hitter in between them."

Utley is 2 for 16 with five strikeouts against lefties this season, and Howard is 2 for 18 with 10 K's.

Batting Utley second theoretically gives him more plate appearances, and by having Utley and Young both bat before Howard it gives the Phillies a chance to put more runners on base. Utley has a .350 on-base percentage and Young is at .400.

Phillies two-hole hitters have an unimpressive .286 OBP this season, which has contributed to slow starts to games.

Rodriguez is a tough lefty – he’s allowed just six baserunners in 16 innings this season and enters with a .096 opponents’ batting average. But the Phillies got to him the last time they faced him, scoring seven runs in four innings in April 2011, and they’re hoping to do so again.

1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) Chase Utley, 2B
3) Michael Young, 3B
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) John Mayberry, LF
6) Domonic Brown, RF
7) Ben Revere, CF
8) Humberto Quintero, C (catching Halladay for the fourth straight time)
9) Roy Halladay, P

John Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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