WASHINGTON -- Roughly five hours before Jimmy Rollins stepped into the batter's box Saturday at Nationals Park, Cole Hamels threw roughly 25 pitches in an important bullpen session beyond the left-field fence.
He said it went well.
He will throw one more bullpen session early next week, and if that goes well, he said he should rejoin the rotation Friday against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels missed a start this week because of inflammation in his left shoulder.
"Cole is moving along fine," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick will face the New York Mets at home next week. Hamels would open the series against the Marlins with Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay pitching Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Mayberry becoming Phillies' go-to vs. lefties
WASHINGTON -- Just last week, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel started Raul Ibanez against Nationals left-hander John Lannan.
Manuel started John Mayberry Jr. in his place Saturday.
The Phillies have faced nine left-handed starters since Mayberry rejoined the team in early July. Mayberry has started against eight of them. He has hit .276 (8-for-29) with two doubles, four homers, seven RBIs, a .276 on-base percentage and a .759 slugging percentage against left-handers in that span. Ibanez has hit .172 (5-for-29) with one double, one home run, seven RBIs, a .172 on-base percentage and a .310 slugging percentage against left-handers in that same stretch.
Manuel is not ready to call Ibanez-Mayberry a platoon, but it certainly has played that way the last several weeks.
"I wanted to get John in a game," he said. "We've got a day game tomorrow, and I figured Raul would definitely be in there. Give him a blow tonight. The last couple days we've been at the ballpark a long [time] and John has been playing good."
Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco sounded optimistic he could be back in action Monday. Polanco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 7 because of a sports hernia. He recently received a cortisone injection and said Saturday he feels "much better" than he had just a few days ago. He said he thinks he will be activated from the DL on Monday.
Phillies right-hander Jose Contreras had been scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday, but that has been pushed back to Monday. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel called it a setback, while pitching coach Rich Dubee said Contreras simply felt he was not ready to throw off a mound. "That's fine," Dubee said. Contreras has been on the disabled list since June 20 because of a strained right forearm. Manuel said it is getting close to the time when Contreras might not be able to help the team much this season.
Closer Ryan Madson was unavailable to pitch Saturday after pitching three consecutive days.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.