While the Phillies continue to sit atop the National League standings, the Braves are making the NL East race a little more interesting these days. They'll send Tommy Hanson to the hill this afternoon in Houston in search of their sixth consecutive win. As we wait to see whether Atlanta can gain any more ground on the Phils, let's round up this morning's NL East links from the division's two biggest markets, New York and Philadelphia:
- Based on Ruben Amaro Jr.'s track record, the GM's assertion that the Phillies won't make any major moves this summer should be taken with a grain of salt, says Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Two Phillies officials that spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports contended that Amaro may actually be telling the truth this time.
- Within Rosenthal's piece, the FOX scribe notes that, while the Phillies could use a bat, their strong rotation has made them a new kind of team, and "not necessarily a worse kind."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't think the Mets will trade Jose Reyes before July 31st, and believes the team needs to make a strong effort to keep the shortstop past 2011, despite the risks.
- Mets fans may not look back fondly on Omar Minaya's stint in New York, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News points out that the former GM was responsible for acquiring many notable contributors on the club's present-day roster.
- As Newsday's Ken Davidoff writes, Phillies minor leaguer Brian Gordon has the opportunity to opt out of his contract this Wednesday, on the condition that another team adds him to its Major League roster. Gordon, 32, has only made four career big league appearances (in 2008), but is excelling at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, with a 1.14 ERA, 1.1 BB/9, and 9.1 K/9 in 55 1/3 innings.