MILWAUKEE -- Much of this non-contending season for the Reds season focused on the rebuild for the future. With 2017 being the final year of his six-year contract with Cincinnati, it's unlikely that second baseman Brandon Phillips will still be around to experience the completion of the project.Instead, Phillips is
MILWAUKEE -- Much of this non-contending season for the Reds season focused on the rebuild for the future. With 2017 being the final year of his six-year contract with Cincinnati, it's unlikely that second baseman Brandon Phillips will still be around to experience the completion of the project.
Instead, Phillips is certainly making the most of his time now. He's putting together another solid season, batting .289/.320/.417 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs entering Friday, while finishing strong. He came in batting .344 over his last 58 games since July 6.
"I just worry about what we have and what we can do in that moment instead of worrying about the future," Phillips said. "A lot of people worry about the future, but you have to worry about what's present right now to get to the future. You have to live in the moment. You have to go out there and just play and give it your all. You never know how long you're going to be playing this game. It's a dream. You're going to wake up one day. Hopefully these guys are doing the same thing."
This could again be an interesting offseason for the 35-year-old Phillips, the longest-tenured player on the roster. The Reds do have future replacements in-house already in either José Peraza or Dilson Herrera, who was acquired in the Aug. 1 trade from the Mets for Jay Bruce. Phillips has full no-trade protection and is set to make $13 million in 2017.
Last winter, Phillips used his no-trade rights to block being dealt to the Nationals. Was he expecting the Reds to revisit moving him and does he want to be dealt?
"I haven't really thought about it," Phillips said. "That one thing that's not really on my mind. I'm just trying to finish the season strong and whatever happens, happens. I can't really control what's going on, what the Reds want or what I want. All I know is I want to finish strong for this team. I'm still a Red. I'm happy. I still have another year on my contract and I'm happy with that. You never know what the future really holds. Just look at the present and enjoy it while you can."
Phillips would like to win a World Series before his career end, he acknowledged.
"The reason we all play this game is to win a championship," he said. "That's one thing I hope that Jay Bruce can do while he's with the Mets. Hopefully I can do it also. I think it's what Joey [Votto] wants also. But if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, as long as you play this game the best way you know how and give it all, that's all you can say."
Phillips' body has taken a beating this season. Although never on the disabled list in 2016, he's taken pitches off of his hand, foul balls to his shin, a helmet to his left knee and jammed his left foot and ankle in the wall trying to make a sliding catch.
"I'm just doing my job the best way I know how and trying to show these guys how to ride it out during injuries and everything," Phillips said. "Don't give up. You never know what you can really do even when you're hurt."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.