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With Utley out, Phillies' lineup fluid

With Utley out, Phillies' lineup fluid

With Utley out, Phillies' lineup fluid
TAMPA, Fla. -- Fans typically pay little attention to Spring Training lineups because everyday players do not play every day.

But since Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been unable to play because of patellar tendinitis in his right knee, manager Charlie Manuel's lineups have received a little more scrutiny, because not only is the club without its No. 3 hitter, it's trying to find a No. 5 hitter to replace Jayson Werth.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins batted third in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field, but do not jump to any conclusions. Rollins remains Manuel's leadoff hitter.

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"I'm just trying to look for the best lineup [each day]," said Manuel, whose team has scored three or fewer runs in six of its first 11 Grapefruit League games.

Raul Ibanez would likely hit third if Utley cannot play for an extended period of time. In the Phillies' first 11 Grapefruit League games, Ibanez has batted third seven times. Ben Francisco, Placido Polanco, Ross Gload and Rollins have hit third once apiece.

"We'll see if we can find somebody to hit there," Manuel said.

Who is the ideal No. 3 guy, not including Utley?

"He's probably sitting on the bench -- it's probably me or [hitting coach Greg Gross]," Manuel joked. "Ibanez, I've hit him third sometimes. As a matter of fact, I hit Ibanez all over the lineup in the second half of the season last year. We'll see. We've got plenty of time to see what's going on."

Francisco has batted fifth four times this spring. Polanco has hit there three times, and John Mayberry Jr. has hit there twice. Delwyn Young and Robb Quinlan have also hit fifth.

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