4/1/2013 11:41 P.M. ET
Revere leads off, Rollins bats second for Phils
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Jimmy Rollins said in February he couldn't care less where he hit in the Phillies' lineup.
Leadoff, second, third, fifth -- he just wants to win.
But Phillies manager Charlie Manuel kept his lineup a closely guarded secret anyway until Monday afternoon, when he officially made center fielder Ben Revere his leadoff hitter, with Rollins batting second against Braves right-hander Tim Hudson at Turner Field. He also chose John Mayberry Jr. to start in right field over Laynce Nix.
W: Avilan L: Hamels SV: Kimbrel
The Revere-Rollins order makes sense, if for no other reason than it does not line up three left-handed hitters in a row with Revere, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
"I decided that I would try it awhile," Manuel said. "I've got more options in my lineup than I had at this time last year. We've got more speed in our lineup. We've got a few more patient hitters and guys that work the count."
Manuel would not say how long he would try Revere in the top spot.
"We'll see how long I give it," he said. "I come to the ballpark to win. I don't have to put a time on it or nothing. I can't tell you if it's going to be five days, 10 days, two days -- we'll see. I just felt like that's what I wanted to see. That's how I wanted to put it together. I look at Jimmy against righties, he hooks the hole good. If Ben gets on, Jimmy is definitely capable of hitting balls to the right side of the diamond, getting him over, things like that. Ben's more of a spray hitter. He hits more to the left side of the diamond than Jimmy. There's a lot of things that go into play there."
Said Rollins: "It's not the first time I've hit second."
But it has been a while. Rollins last hit second May 29, 2004, when he hit between Doug Glanville and Bobby Abreu.
Revere called the top spot an honor, but he knows he will need to produce to stay there.
"Hopefully, I can get some pitches I can swing at," he said. "I got big guys right behind me, I just need to get on base. By base hit, by walk, by error -- just however I can get on. With those big guys behind me, they hit those balls in the gap and I can easily score. Pretty sure I can score 100 runs. My job is to just get on base, steal bases, stuff like that."
Manuel also chose Mayberry over Nix. Mayberry has hit an undistinguished .229 with a .626 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against right-handers in his career, but .308 (4-for-13) with two home runs, five RBIs, four walks and two strikeouts in his career against Hudson. Nix, who has hit .253 with a .744 OPS in his career against right-handers, has hit .308 (8-for-26) with one double, one home run, four RBIs, one walk and eight strikeouts against Hudson.
"I'm basically playing Mayberry because I remember him playing against Hudson and how he's done," Manuel said.
Back in Opening Day lineup, Utley hits homer No. 200
ATLANTA -- Chase Utley looked like the old Chase Utley on Monday at Turner Field, so consider that the silver lining in a 7-5 loss to the Braves.
He went 3-for-5 with one triple, one home run and three RBIs, playing in his first Opening Day since 2010 after spending the previous two on the disabled list because of injured knees.
"Same guy," Utley said.
So this doesn't surprise him?
"No," he said.
Utley, whose homer in the fourth was the 200th of his career, joined Ryan Howard in the lineup. Howard missed last season's opener because of an injured left Achilles.
"It's pretty obvious the physical significance of it," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before the game. "But maybe even as importantly, just their overall presence, just having them around, having them active has an immediate impact on our club. You talk about the core players on our team, and they're two very important ones. Missing those guys makes quite an impact, not just physically, but the psyche of the club."
Manager Charlie Manuel agreed, even after the loss. How couldn't he after watching Utley hit the ball hard and run the bases well?
"Yeah, when Ut is on, he's still a real good player," Manuel said. "And tonight he had a good night, and that's great. I'm sure that's going to play a big part in our success down the road."
Playing with new team exciting, weird for Young
ATLANTA -- Michael Young had more than six weeks to prepare for Opening Day with his new team with a longer than usual Spring Training.
But Young spent the first 13 years of his big league career with Texas, so he acknowledged Monday there was a little bit of strangeness or weirdness being in Atlanta playing the Braves rather than being in Houston playing the Astros.
"A little bit of both, but it's something I've been looking forward to since the trade," Young said before the Phillies' game against the Braves at Turner Field. "It's definitely a little bit different. I'm not used to going to a National League park for Opening Day, you know what I mean? But it was something I was definitely excited for and excited about. I'm just excited to kick this thing off and play with my teammates."
Opening season in hometown special for Brown
ATLANTA -- Everybody knew Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown would be in the Opening Day lineup weeks ago thanks to a fantastic spring.
But he still considered it special to be in the visitors' clubhouse Monday at Turner Field, where the Phillies opened their season against the Braves.
"Man, it means the world," he said. "I'm basically at home."
Brown attended Redan High School, which is about 20-25 minutes away from Turner Field.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.