Revere happy to lead off; Rollins approves

Revere happy to lead off; Rollins approves

April 1, 2013, 8:45 pm
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ATLANTA – Ben Revere was thrilled to see his name in the leadoff spot for Monday night’s Phillies season opener.

“It's an honor, a big honor," said the 24-year-old centerfielder, who joined the Phils in an offseason trade with Minnesota.

"I told Charlie when I got over here that we have such a great lineup, wherever he puts me I know he's trying to help the team win. If it's batting leadoff, eighth, middle of the order, that's fine ... That they want me to be the go-to guy is a huge honor."

Revere batted in the spot that belonged to Jimmy Rollins throughout most of Charlie Manuel’s tenure as Phillies manager. Rollins batted second.

The move sat fine with Rollins. He made it clear early in spring training that he would do whatever Manuel felt was best to get the team back to the postseason after a one-year absence, and reiterated that stance before Monday night’s game. Manuel and Rollins talked about lineup combinations throughout spring training and Rollins seemed to know the move was coming.

Entering spring training, Manuel said he would experiment with Rollins and Revere in the top two spots in the order. Revere hit .326 during the spring and had a .368 on-base percentage. Manuel liked that. He also liked the fact that the switch-hitting Rollins could break up a string of lefty hitters. Revere, No. 3 hitter Chase Utley and cleanup man Ryan Howard all hit left-handed.

"I decided that I would put Ben there and try it a while," Manuel said before the game. "I have more options with my lineup this year than I had last year.

"We'll see how long I give it. It could be a week, two weeks, a month, I don’t know. I come to the ball park to win."

Manuel has hinted that he could use Revere in the No. 8 spot when Carlos Ruiz and Delmon Young are ready to join the lineup later this month. The addition of those two right-handed bats would allow Manuel to bat Michael Young second behind Rollins, while Revere could bring speed to the bottom of the order.

But if the Revere-Rollins combo at the top of the order works, Manuel could certainly stick with that.

Revere is not one to take many walks. He had just 57 in 1,064 career plate appearances over the last three seasons with the Twins. He was a leadoff man in 581 of those plate appearances, but had just a .310 on-base percentage.

Revere knows he needs to improve on that.

"You want to be a lot more patient," he said of his responsibilities. "I have the big guys right behind me, so the main thing is to get on base by base hit, walk, error -- just as long as I get on base. I have the big guys behind me to drop balls in the gap and I can easily score.

"When I came over here they told me I have a pretty good shot at scoring 100 runs, so I'm just going to do my job and get on base, steal bases and let the big boys do their jobs."