Ben Revere is at the top of manager Charlie Manuel’s lineup for a fourth straight game, Friday, and it doesn’t seem as if a change is coming any time soon.
Though the new centerfielder is just 3 for 14 through the early going, Manuel believes Revere gives him a little more versatility. For one thing, with Revere at the top of the order, the Phillies’ lineup isn’t so lefty heavy.
“The biggest thing is the lefty situation,” Manuel explained before Friday’s home opener against the Kansas City Royals. “If we hit Ben second, we have three lefties in a row and then we have Michael Young batting fifth and [Dom] Brown batting sixth, that’s four out of five lefties. We already have a problem with them matching lefties on us.
“Someone asked the other day if I had ever thought about switching some of those guys and no, I haven’t. Who am I going to put there?”
Though it’s a small sample size, Revere has been busy on the basepaths. With three hits and a walk, Revere has scored two runs and swiped a pair of bags. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins has settled nicely into the No. 2 hole, going 5 for 14 with a pair of RBIs and two stolen bases.
Not only does Manuel have more versatility at the top of the batting order, but also he has a lot more speed.
“Ben is more apt to steal a base than Jimmy,” Manuel said. “But Jimmy knows how [to steal a base].”
Rollins also knows how to drive in runs, according to Manuel. When the bottom third of the lineup gets on, Rollins has had some success driving them home from the top spot in the order. He should get a few more chances in the No. 2 spot if Revere can get on base, too.
“Sometimes when I look at it, it’s almost like it was when we had [Juan] Pierre leading off like last year when Jimmy was batting second,” Manuel said. “Jimmy has a stronger bat when we have runners in scoring position because he gets extra-base hits. For a leadoff hitter to get the RBIs he’s had in his career it kind of speaks for itself.”