ST. LOUIS -- The Phillies placed veteran reliever Jose Contreras on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of a right forearm strain and recalled left-hander Juan Perez from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Contreras has battled injuries this season and is on the DL for the second time in 2011. He was out from April 25 until May 26 because of a right flexor pronator strain in his elbow.

"He's got some tenderness in his elbow, it kind of comes and goes," manager Charlie Manuel said on Thursday. "I'm concerned. It's definitely going to require some rest."

Contreras was warming up in the bullpen on Tuesday during the Phillies' nine-run eighth inning against the Cardinals when he complained about discomfort in his right arm. The right-hander threw for an extended period of time as the 43-minute inning dragged on, and then said his arm was sore.

"He kept on going and kept on going and then finally he said, 'I can't get loose'," said pitching coach Rich Dubee.

Contreras was out for over a month the last time he went on the DL, and Manuel said he was unsure if Contreras would miss more than the minimum of 15 days this time around. The Phillies medical staff will further examine Contreras when the team returns home on Friday.

Contreras, 39, has posted a 3.86 ERA in 17 outings this season, while converting each of his five save opportunities and holding opponents to a .220 average.

Perez will be used as a situational left-hander. The southpaw went 0-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 appearances for Lehigh Valley. He struck out 41 in 30 2/3 innings and held lefties to a .184 average.

"It gives us a chance to really get a look at him and see where he's at," Manuel said. "He's been doing a good job, he's got a good arm, he's been getting them out."

Perez also appeared in 24 games with the Pirates during 2006 and '07, going 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA.

Phanatic not letting foul ball keep him down

ST. LOUIS -- They don't call him the Philly Phanatic for nothing. Not even a foul ball to the neck can keep the Phillies' mascot from his ballpark duties.

The Phanatic was hit square in the neck by a foul ball on Wednesday during Triple-A Lehigh Valley's 10-5 loss to Indianapolis. The Phanatic playfully fell into the laps of several spectators after being struck, and then left the game and headed to the hospital.

Tom Burgoyne, who has played the Philly Phanatic since 1993, was treated and released with minor injuries. Although the ball hit the mascot in the neck, it struck right were Burgoyne's head is actually located.

Despite the freak injury, the Philly Phanatic will be at Citizens Bank Park on Friday for the series opener against Oakland.

"The Phanatic is fine," Burgoyne wrote on his Facebook page. "I felt his pain and have a nice golf-ball sized knot just above my eye. Bring on the A's this weekend -- the Phanatic will be ready!"

It's not the first injury for the Phanatic. Burgoyne suffered a broken nose and eye socket in 2009 after being hit with a ball thrown by an Atlanta Braves player.