As we get closer and closer to the Philadelphia Phillies 2013 Opening Day, there is still one big question that has not been answered yet. And that question is who should be the Phillies leadoff man? For many years, it has been Jimmy Rollins, but now with the addition of speedy Ben Revere, the debate begins.
If I were Charlie Manuel, I would put Revere as leadoff. Revere is extremely fast and we know, he can get on base and steal bases for you. Last season, he finished with 40 stolen bases, while Rollins stole 30 last year and is now 34 years old. Revere can act as more of a table setter for the rest of the lineup, than Rollins can.
If you take Rollins out the leadoff hole, I think his numbers would increase. The bottom line is Jimmy Rollins has never been cut out to be a leadoff hitter, but he has done so out of necessity Now yes, Rollins can get on base as well, but remember how many times he grounded out or hit a pop fly on the first pitch of an at-bat? That isn’t what you want out of your leadoff hitter. However, if you move Rollins down in the lineup, then you accept some of the bad at-bats because you are going to get some pop out of him. Also, if Rollins isn’t in the leadoff spot, then he would have a greater chance at boosting his RBI numbers, because he would either be hitting before or after Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
Charlie Manuel said, “I think that it will be pretty close. I think the chances of an everyday leadoff guy is too soon to tell. We haven’t gotten started yet. We’ll just wait and see. I’m close, but at the same time, I’ll take the next couple days and see what happens. I think that Jimmy has been a better option than anyone we’ve had. Basically, I like Jimmy Rollins leading off for a couple of things, one of them is the runs he produces from the leadoff spot. You may ask how he produces runs from the leadoff spot, well he’s knocking in the seventh, eighth and ninth-hole hitters. How does he do it? By knocking doubles, triples and homers.” When being asked if Revere has what it takes to be the new guy at the top of the order, Manuel responded by saying, “I think he does. In spring training, I was a little surprised that I saw a good offensive player. He’s a guy who makes contact, can move the ball all over the field, he can bunt, he is aggressive an aggressive player. I was a little bit surprised about it.”
At this point, I think it could go either way. Both would be a great fit at the leadoff spot, I just think Revere would be the better option.