Lefthander Cliff Lee, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 20 with a left-elbow strain, has yet to start throwing, but he remains optimistic.

"It is slowly getting better . . . there is still a little bit [of discomfort], but I'm progressing," Lee said before the Phillies took on the Mets Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. "Every day I am getting closer to throwing."

Lee is 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 10 starts this season.

Needing a day off?

Counting Friday, Jimmy Rollins had started 21 consecutive games for the Phillies, and he has hit a slump. So manager Ryne Sandberg was asked if he thought the 35-year-old shortstop was getting tired.

"His energy is good and he is doing fine," Sandberg said before the game Friday.

The manager said Rollins will eventually need a breather.

"He is going to need a day off with the stretch of games, and also Chase [Utley]," Sandberg said. "I have to see if I can't pick a spot and have somebody else out there, but he is battling his at-bats."

Rollins battled well at the plate Friday against the Mets. He had two hits and two walks in five at-bats through 13 innings.

In the seven games of this homestand before Friday, Rollins was 3 for 27 (.111) and had a .348 OPS.

Brignac gets the start

With third baseman Cesar Hernandez slumping, Reid Brignac earned his first Phillies start Friday. Brignac, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley on May 9, was starting in a major-league game for the first time since June 20 of last year, with the New York Yankees.

Brignac was designated for assignment the next day and signed a minor- league contract the next week with Colorado.

"I started many games on the big-league level, so this is just another game and I am excited to play," Brignac said.

Hernandez entered the weekend hitting .146, but in his previous seven games he was batting .091 (2 for 22). He also struggled defensively in the 4-1 loss to the Mets on Thursday.

Back in Philadelphia

Bobby Abreu, who was a two-time all-star in his first stint with the Phillies that ended in 2006, was a late cut by the team during spring training. On Friday he made his first start this year, in right field.

Abreu signed with the Mets, began the season at triple-A Las Vegas, and made his first appearance for New York April 22.

Abreu, who did not play in the majors in 2013, hit well in camp for the Phils, but struggled in the field.

"It was tough because I wanted to make a comeback with the Phillies and it didn't work out that way," Abreu said. "But I am fine and happy over here and I am enjoying every single moment."