PHILADELPHIA - Ben Revere batted first and Jimmy Rollins hit second for the Phillies on Friday night.
For one day, the debate over who should bat leadoff for Philadelphia was settled.
"We'll see how I feel about (today)," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Friday.
The Phillies returned from Florida on Thursday and began a two-day, on-deck exhibition series with a 1-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on Friday. The series concludes today at 1:05 p.m.
Revere hit leadoff Friday primarily because the Phillies faced left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. If the switch-hitting Rollins did not bat second, the Phillies would have had three left-handed hitters come to the plate in a row - Revere, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
One of the biggest questions around the 2013 Phillies is who should bat leadoff. The debate began moments after the Phillies acquired Revere in a trade with the Minnesota Twins on Dec. 6.
Rollins has batted first nearly all of his career. He had 553 at-bats at leadoff last season compared to 74 in the No. 3 spot and five in the No. 8 spot.
Rollins has hit 43 home runs leading off in his career.
But for all of Rollins' success in the top spot, some fans want to see him dropped in the order. The shortstop's critics say he swings at too many pitches. Rollins' on-base percentage was .316 last season – low for a leadoff hitter. Blue Jays leadoff hitter Jose Reyes produced a .339 on-base percentage in 387 at-bats in the No. 1 spot for the Florida Marlins last season.
But Manuel likes Rollins' power at leadoff. Revere has no career home runs in 1,064 major-league plate appearances. Rollins hit 23 home runs last season.
"I like the runs (Rollins) produces," Manuel said. "He knocks in the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-hole hitters. How does he do it? He hits triples, doubles and home runs."
But the ever cagy Manuel also said he likes Rollins bating second.
"I like him from the left side against right-handed pitchers because he can hook the ball into the hole (between first and second)," Manuel said.
Meanwhile, Revere had 143 at-bats at leadoff for the Twins in 2012. He had 347 at-bats at the No. 2 spot in the order. He has a .319 career on-base percentage.
Revere has shown his speed in spring training with 10 stolen bases and 17 runs scored.
Manuel said Revere has surprised him in spring training with his offensive ability. Revere batted .337 (28-for-83) with five doubles.
"He can hit the ball all over the field," Manuel said. "He can bunt. He can steal bases."
Manuel refused to tip his hand as to who would hit first opening day on Monday in Atlanta against the Braves. Right-handed Tim Hudson is scheduled to start for the Braves.
Manuel said he would feel comfortable hitting Revere first, second or anywhere in the order. Revere also doesn't seem to mind where he hits.
"We have so much power," Revere said. "My job is just to get on base."
Nothing happened in Friday's game to shift the debate in Rivera's or Rollins' direction. Revere went 0-for-4, while Rollins was 1-for-3.
For now, the mystery of the Phillies' leadoff hitter remains.
"I'm close to making a decision," Manuel said. "But the next couple of days, I'll just see what happens."
Lee looks good
Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee appeared ready for the season Friday. He started and allowed one hit and no runs in four innings. Lee threw 48 pitches and struck out five.
"I felt good," Lee said. "Preseason is over. It's time to get ready for real games. I felt good, and it was just a matter of executing pitches."
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