6/20/2014 7:37 P.M. ET
Progress continues with Lee's second bullpen session
By Alex Halsted / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Cliff Lee took another step toward returning to the Phillies rotation Friday when he threw a second bullpen session at Busch Stadium.
Three days removed from throwing his first bullpen session in Atlanta, in which he threw 20 fastballs, Lee threw 30 pitches in St. Louis with a mix of fastballs and changeups.
The left-hander is working to return from a strained left elbow and has been on the disabled list since May 19. The bullpen sessions mark important progress for his return to the mound.
"It's not 100 percent gone, but it's continued to progress and get better," Lee said. "I continue to do more and more and it's bouncing back good."
Lee, who has said he could potentially return to the mound prior to the All-Star break in July, struggled to describe what feeling still lingers in his elbow.
"It's not pain, but there's definitely still something there. I wouldn't call it discomfort, I would say it's just there," Lee said. "If it stayed the way it was right now I would be fine. Obviously we want it to go all the way away, but I'm going to continue to add more and more stuff to it and see what happens."
Lee posted a 3.18 ERA this season in 68 innings (10 starts) prior to the injury. Rookie David Buchanan has filled his spot in the Phillies rotation and picked up his third win in six starts with 7 2/3 innings of one-run baseball Thursday in St. Louis.
The next step for Lee isn't exactly set in stone, but the lefty said he could either throw another bullpen or a simulated game where he alternates throwing and sitting.
The key to returning to the Phillies rotation, Lee said, will rest with his ability to "throw a substantial number of pitches," which could be anywhere between 80 and 100.
"I want to be able to come in and do my job," Lee said. "I don't want to throw four or five innings and be done. I want to come in and be a normal starting pitcher."
Revere out of lineup for fourth straight game
ST. LOUIS -- Ben Revere remained out of the Phillies starting lineup for a fourth straight game Friday as he waits for swelling in his left knee to fully subside.
Revere banged into the wall at Turner Field in Atlanta on Monday making a catch, and the knee swelled. After sitting out Tuesday, Revere entered the Phillies games on Wednesday and Thursday as a pinch-hitter.
"He's still a little restricted," Phillies manager Ryen Sandberg said. "The swelling was getting out of there but not totally to make him feel 100 percent with range of motion."
"It's getting better each and every day, so it's progressing from Atlanta," Revere said. "I'm just trying to get all the swelling out so I can dive and slide so it won't swell up again. It's just flushing all that swelling out. That's the only thing."
Revere has continued to ice the knee and take medication to help the swelling go down. He has appeared in 64 games this season, hitting .280 with 20 stolen bases.
John Mayberry has started the last three games in center with Revere out and was back there Friday. He has hit .091 (1-for-11).
Phillies rally around absence of Gwynn Jr.
ST. LOUIS -- The Phillies expect to welcome Tony Gwynn Jr. back early next week, manager Ryne Sandberg said Friday.
Gwynn Jr. was placed on the bereavement list Monday as he mourns the death of his father, Tony Gwynn Sr., who passed away on Monday at 54.
The Phillies have hung Gwynn Jr.'s jersey in their dugout and Sandberg said he has seen the team come together this week.
"In a lot of ways, the guys have rallied around that," Sandberg said. "The players wanted to have the jersey hanging up in the dugout. I think the guys rallied around Tony being gone."
The Padres have announced plans to hold a memorial tribute to Gywnn Thursday at Petco Park in San Diego.
Sandberg said Gwynn Jr. could join the team Sunday or Monday and be available to play as soon as Tuesday.
Brignac lands on DL with high ankle sprain
ST. LOUIS -- Reid Brignac feared his left ankle might be broken Thursday, when he slid into first base at Busch Stadium and oddly contorted it.
X-rays on Brignac's ankle came back negative and the third baseman was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The injury wasn't as severe as initially thought, but was bad enough to send him to the 15-day disabled list Friday.
Brignac's ankle was tightly wrapped Friday, and there is no knowing if two weeks will be enough time for it to heal and allow the 28-year-old to return to action when eligible to come off the DL.
"It's hard to gauge right now," Brignac said. "Hopefully when the time comes up I'll be ready to start playing again then. I can put weight on it, I can walk on it. It's a little discomfort, but it looks like it's getting better already."
Brignac had taken over at third base for the Phillies in late May when Cody Asche went on the disabled list May 22 with a strained left hamstring. Asche was activated from the DL on Friday.
Brignac was beginning to heat up in recent weeks, and entered Thursday night hitting .368 (7-for-19) in his previous four games before going 0-for-2 and being removed in the fifth inning.
"He was doing some very good things," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He was playing a steady third base, making routine plays. I think he had three big hits late in the game that made a difference in winning games in about a 10-day span. He gave us a lift in a time that we needed."
Asche, who was sent on a rehab assignment to Class A Lakewood for three games last Friday and two games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, had arrived in St. Louis to meet the team prior to Thursday's game. He was already set to be activated Friday before Brignac injured his ankle.
Ultimately, he was activated with Brignac headed to the DL. Asche had been the Phillies regular third baseman before hurting his hamstring. In 40 games this season he's hit .258 with four home runs and 18 RBIs.
While Brignac will miss time, both he and Sandberg were feeling fortunate Friday his injury is only a sprain.
"It didn't look too bad as far as swelling. It didn't look like a grapefruit or anything," Sandberg said. "Watching the play from over here and watching the players land on the field, it looked uglier than what it ended up to be.
"It could have been a lot worse."
• Sandberg said backup catcher Wil Nieves, who injured his leg Wednesday in Atlanta, was available in some capacity Thursday. Nieves' injury turned out to be a cramp, but the Phillies recalled catcher Cameron Rupp as reinforcement Thursday.
• The Cardinals will start reliever Carlos Martinez against the Phillies on Sunday. Michael Wacha was scheduled to make the start, but the team opted to give him extra rest. Martinez made a spot start Monday and allowed one run in four innings.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.