Jimmy Rollins isn’t a perfect leadoff option, but he appears to be a better one than Ben Revere. Thirteen games doesn’t firmly predict the future and further changes could be made later, but it’s time for the Philadelphia Phillies to adjust the top of their batting order.
Everyone needs to keep in mind that Delmon Young and Carlos Ruiz will soon make their season debuts, which will create a different dynamic within the lower half of Charlie Manuel’s lineup. Those approaching options will enable Revere’s shift to the eighth slot later this month, if not sooner.
Rollins’ current .296 OBP is only slightly higher than Revere’s .276 mark. However, Rollins’ early season .696 OPS line towers above Revere’s .498 OPS posting.
It’s fair to critique Rollins’ batting approach. However, a more productive insight is gained when one considers the dearth of alternative options if Revere’s production doesn’t improve soon. The Shane Victorino flip-flop to and from the leadoff spot came into play during past seasons when ‘J-Roll’ was injured, or experienced a prolonged slump.
While Michael Young’s .420 OBP is enticing, his bat seems more suited to a beefy spot in the order where he can drive in runs.
Considering the Phillies’ offensive stops and starts through mid-April, it can’t hurt to write Rollins’ name at the top of the order for a series, or two, and see what happens. When Young and Ruiz do return, Manuel’s lineup could potentially be stretched from one to eight.
Due to the short time frame, Revere hasn’t truly failed in his leadoff role. He simply might be better suited to hit before whoever pitches each game.