While the Phillies didn't have the best or most exciting off-season, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. certainly pulled enough levers to address most of the issues that the team had, in an effort to get them back to the playoffs.
The first move off the off-season -- the trade that brought Ben Revere to town -- is also the one that is most likely to have the biggest impact on the team in the short and long term, as Revere is a young center fielder who figures to be an everyday player for the foreseeable future.
And it's for that reason that Revere should supplant Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot in 2013.
While Rollins owned that spot for the better part of the last decade (with a few hiccups here and there), it's time to move the veteran down the order where his power can best be utilized so the Phillies can maximize the lineup as it currently exists. It's not that Revere is necessarily going to be a great leadoff hitter, it's that the lineup is a bit more effective if Rollins hits towards the middle of the order.
Although Revere's game isn't perfect -- he has no power and he needs his speed to get on base -- it's not hard to see why he'd be perfect for that spot. He's fast, he doesn't strike out a lot, and his statistics would indicate that he is still growing as a hitter, meaning that we can expect his skill set (specifically his ability to get on base) to improve during his time with the Phillies.
And thanks to his speed, the Phillies would have a guy at the top of the order who can make things happen for the big bats behind him.
In Saturday's Spring Training opener, Revere led off the game with a infield single, stole second, moved to third on a ground out to the right side, and then came home to score on a single. It's only one at bat in one inning in one game in February, but that's what we can expect his MO to be throughout the regular season.
Rollins, on the other hand, seems to be heading in the opposite direction. He was never known for his ability to get on base at an elite level (career high OBP of .349 in 2008 -- when he was 28), but he still has enough power (23 HR in 2012) to make a difference. And ideally, you want that power coming in the middle of the order, when you'd have guys on base ahead of him.
This is less about Rollins' ineffectiveness hitting out of the leadoff spot (to be fair, he was never a great leadoff hitter in the truest sense), but more about the Phillies making a change to benefit the team over the course of the season.
We can talk all day about how it really doesn't matter who bats leadoff, because they only come to the plate as the actual leadoff hitter, for certain, just once per game (and studies have shown that lineup construction is really rather irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) but if there was ever a time for the Phillies to make a change, now would seem like an appropriate time.