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Scuffling Rollins may move to leadoff spot

Scuffling Rollins may move to leadoff spot

PHILADELPHIA -- How's this for a plan to spark slumping Phillies sparkplug Jimmy Rollins? Move him up in the batting order.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said he would consider it in the hours before Sunday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, even after Rollins went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts while hitting sixth in a 4-3 loss to the Giants in Game 1. Rollins, whose season has been marred by leg injuries, is off to a 1-for-15 start to his 2010 postseason.

Perhaps he'll fare better in his usual leadoff spot.

"I'll think about that," Manuel said. "I'll think about it. Tonight, I'll think about a whole lot of things. We need to put together more offense."

That was good news to Rollins.

"It's funny that he said that, because I was just in the lunch room thinking about that, maybe put me back up there," Rollins said. "We've got a lefty going [in Giants Game 2 starter Jonathan Sanchez] and my right side has been working for me all year long."


Rollins, a switch-hitter, batted .297 with a .368 on-base percentage as a right-handed batter against left-handed pitchers during the regular season. It's a relatively small sample -- 125 plate appearances -- but much better than his .218/.297 marks against right-handed pitchers.

All four of Rollins' at-bats in Game 1 came against right-handers. He popped out against Giants starter Tim Lincecum with a runner at second base and one out in the second inning -- though plate umpire Derryl Cousins tried to send Rollins back to the dugout a pitch earlier, accidentally using his strike-three motion on a 2-1 pitch.

Rollins then whiffed in each of his next three at-bats, against Lincecum in the fourth and the sixth, as well as closer Brian Wilson with the tying run at first base in the eighth.

"It got worse as the night went on, unfortunately," Rollins said.

"I want Jimmy Rollins to hit, of course," Manuel said. "I'm very concerned about him hitting. But I also think we have to get him hitting, too. We need to try to get him hitting."

Rollins, sitting on a clubhouse countertop with a swarm of reporters around him, appeared ready to smile his way through his slump.

"Confidence is unshakable," he said. "If you lose that, you don't have a chance. It's just executing -- that's the part that becomes difficult. But I was in there looking at some footage and I see what I'm doing. It's just a matter of feeling it. When you feel it, you can make that correction. I'm all right."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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