Manuel sticking with Rollins in leadoff spot

Manuel sticking with Rollins in leadoff spot

Manuel sticking with Rollins in leadoff spot
PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Charlie Manuel has been asked about Jimmy Rollins' recent woes as the Phillies' leadoff hitter quite a few times in the past couple days. But despite the varying opinions of many others outside the organization, Manuel is sticking with his veteran shortstop in the top lineup slot.

Rollins is batting .237 with 26 runs and 13 RBIs this season. He's drawn 16 walks and struck out 35 times.

"Jimmy's gotten off to a slow start, by the way, almost every year since I've been here," Manuel said before Monday's game against the Dodgers. "Go check it out. I go through this every year. ... There might have been one year or two years or something that he got off to OK starts. But he's gotten off to some bad starts ever since I've been here."

Rollins, now in his 13th season with Philadelphia, has much better numbers in the second half. For his career, he has hit .263 with a .725 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in the first half. In the second half, he owns a career .281 average with a .795 OPS.

Asked what he wanted to see out of Rollins the next few days, Manuel said: "I want to see the same thing I want to see every day. I want to see him get on base. I want to see him be more consistent in his hitting."

Manuel admitted he has thought about moving Juan Pierre to the leadoff spot, but he likes Pierre in the No. 2 hole.

"The type of hitter he is, he moves the ball around, he works the ball all over the field and things like that. He bunts good, and he can play situational baseball," Manuel said of Pierre. "So I like him in the two-hole."

Pierre, who is hitting .340 in a platoon role, was not in the lineup on Monday. With Clayton Kershaw starting for the Dodgers, Manuel opted to start John Mayberry Jr. in left field as Mayberry has better numbers against left-handed pitchers.