PHILADELPHIA -- Raising his arms to acknowledge the cheers was Jimmy Rollins, as the Phillies' shortstop stepped on the field to accept his 2007 National League MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove.
It would likely be the only time Rollins would be on the field Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.
Though available to pinch-hit, Rollins didn't start for the fourth straight game as he recovers from a sprained left ankle he sustained Tuesday.
"I figured I'd give him another day off because he said he was sore [on Friday]," manager Charlie Manuel said.
The last time Rollins was out of the Phils' lineup for four straight games was July 27-30, 2006. Following that absence, he played in 230 consecutive games.
Rollins' absence increases the likelihood that he will miss Sunday's game, enjoy an off-day Monday and return Tuesday against Houston.
"I've thought about that," Manuel said. "It depends on what goes on. I think he's close. I would think he's going to play Tuesday."
Eric Bruntlett has filled in for Rollins with admittedly subpar results. He made two errors in Wednesday's loss to the Mets, and was unable to lay down a key sacrifice bunt Thursday.
"I have to do all those kind of things, moving guys over, getting a bunt down, hit and run -- that kind of stuff," Bruntlett said. "Things that I didn't do in those first two games. I can't go out there and expect to hit the ball all over the park, out of the park, like a lot of these guys are assigned to do. That's not who I am. I can't try to do that. So I just go out and play my game."
Bruntlett acknowledged that part of his struggles -- he was hitting .133 (2-for-15) entering Saturday -- is trying to impress his new teammates, and starting for the reigning NL MVP only heightens that pressure.
"You want to make an impact, and help the team," Bruntlett said. "A lot of this game is about knowing what level to play. It's not 100 percent all the time. You can't force it."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.