2/19/2013 5:25 P.M. ET
Despite skeptics, Manuel to bat Rollins leadoff
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- In case you needed a reminder: Charlie Manuel fills out the Phillies' lineup card.
Manuel receives suggestions everywhere he goes. He gets them from fans on the street, reporters before games and folks in the front office. But Manuel is the manager, and he made it perfectly clear Tuesday afternoon at Bright House Field that he makes the final decision. And he will again in 2013.
A reporter asked Manuel about Jimmy Rollins' value hitting leadoff because he has power and the ability to drive in runners, as opposed to Ben Revere's higher on-base percentage, but almost complete lack of power.
"I don't think you guys ever see the value in Jimmy Rollins," Manuel said. "He's averaged 75-90 RBIs a year. That's what he averages. He scored  runs last year. Who's he knocking in? He's knocking in the eighth and ninth hitter. Why does he knock them in? Because he can hit doubles and triples and homers. That's why. He gets extra-base hits. Those guys [on base] are usually not good runners and they're slow, and they're not good baserunners.
"We had Juan Pierre last year. You were always asking why Pierre didn't lead off? Because for me, Rollins is a better leadoff hitter. And you can say Pierre hit .300 and Rollins hit .250 or .260, but Rollins' .250 or .260 had more value to it than Pierre's .300."
Manuel said he could hit Rollins lower in the lineup, but that would take away his speed, which he considers valuable.
So bet on Rollins hitting leadoff this season.
"He's been my leadoff hitter ever since I've been here," Manuel said. "When I see Ben Revere hit and see him play, we'll sit down and talk about where he's going to hit and where he's going to help us the most. I've got an idea. We'll find out where we want him. Nobody is going to tell me where to hit somebody. I don't care who you are."
What about President Obama?
"I'd tell him the same thing," Manuel said. "Get him on the phone. I'd like to talk to him anyway."
Halladay unlikely to be Opening Day starter
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies are not ready to name their Opening Day starter, although it seems unlikely to be Roy Halladay.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Monday afternoon that Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will probably pitch in the first series of the season in Atlanta, but he also said he thinks the Phils need to split the left-handed-throwing Lee and Hamels with a right-hander. That suggests Hamels or Lee will get the nod Opening Day on April 1 at Turner Field.
Hamels makes the most sense because he is coming off the best season.
"I think it's how we line up best," Dubee said. "Realistically, we could pitch anybody the first day as far as Doc, Cole and Cliff. On most staffs, they are No. 1 starters, so they all could pitch Opening Day. But part of what we're thinking is trying to split those two lefties."
Halladay, 35, has started Opening Day each of the previous three seasons. Hamels, 29, has never started Opening Day, but Dubee said he doesn't think anybody will look at any of this as a slight.
"I think those three guys we're talking about, they just want to pitch," Dubee said.
• Catcher Sebastian Valle suffered a small fracture on his right finger on the first day of camp Saturday, but he has not been limited.
• A source said the Phillies are close to bringing Federal Donuts to Citizens Bank Park. Nothing is official yet, but if it gets finalized, fans can enjoy some of Philly's best donuts and fried chicken.
•The Phils will play a five-inning intrasquad game at noon ET on Friday at Bright House Field. The game is open to the public.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.