MIAMI - Jimmy Rollins pulled on his gray pants, donned a red Phillies long-sleeved shirt, and took his place at shortstop during batting practice Wednesday. He did not play for a 15th straight game, and his season is likely over because of a strained left hamstring.
Rollins was asked whether risking a further injury in the final weekend was worth it.
"Would it be wise?" he said. "It would not be wise."
In the end, prudence will prevail. The Phillies have no incentive to play Rollins.
"The biggest thing is just to get it totally behind him at this point, making sure he's comfortable with where he's at," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ". . . I don't think there is any sense in pushing anything with him."
Rollins, the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia, will earn $11 million next season in the final year of his four-year, $44 million contract. He holds full no-trade rights. Even if the Phillies presented him with a chance to move to a contender, Rollins will resist.
"I'll be here next year," Rollins said.
The 35-year-old shortstop will finish in the top third at his position in OPS (.717) while maintaining a strong defensive presence. "Pretty good," Rollins said, as he noted the plethora of young shortstops these days. But he was not happy with his season.
"I don't know what the overall grade would be, but you're never doing enough if you're not winning," Rollins said. "Ultimately, that's how we grade ourselves as athletes. Yeah, I did great, but I didn't really help us win too many games."
How long will it take for the Phillies to return to contention?
"I have no idea," Rollins said. "It could be next year. It could be two or three years."
"That's what's so great about being a ballplayer," Rollins said. "We get to write that story."
Sandberg expressed pride in his rotation's workload. Phillies starters entered Wednesday with 9801/3 innings pitched, which ranked third in baseball. Their 3.89 ERA, though, ranked 20th.
"The guys have gone into the sixth and seventh inning for the most part," Sandberg said. "That has kept strength in our bullpen throughout the year. That's the other side of the coin."
Phillies starting pitchers led the majors in innings pitched from 2010 to 2012.
Chase Utley entered Wednesday without a home run in his last 134 at-bats. That is the longest streak of his career. . . . The Phillies will have a losing record within the National League East for the third straight season. They had winning marks against division opponents in nine straight seasons from 2003 to 2011.