Thursday, April 5, 2012

Manuel goes with Victorino in leadoff spot for opener

PBR - Charlie Manuel spoke highly of Juan Pierre throughout the spring, but decided Shane Victorino belongs in the leadoff spot - at least for Opening Day.

The decision makes sense.

Victorino's career batting average is nearly 20 points less than Pierre's, but Victorino brings more power to the lineup and that is something the club needs in the absence of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

Victorino had a career year last season and was the best hitter in the Phillies' lineup. His speed makes him even more valuable and he's been more successful over the last three years than Pierre with an 82% stolen base success rate  vs. 73% success rate.

Today's Opening Day lineup:

  1. Victorino, CF
  2. Polanco, 3B
  3. Rollins, SS
  4. Pence, RF
  5. Wigginton, 3B
  6. Mayberry Jr., LF
  7. Ruiz, C
  8. Galvis, 2B
  9. Halladay, P
Notes: Today will be Roy Halladay's 10th consecutive Opening Day start ... He's allowed two earned runs or less in all five of his career starts against the Pirates ... The Phillies have an all-time record of 13-22 at PNC Park.

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