NL Central Notes: Soriano, Marmol, Cardinals, Astros

It was on this day in 1970 that Roberto Clemente enjoyed his second consecutive five-hit day, becoming the first Major Leaguer in the 20th century to achieve 10 hits over a two-game span.  The Pirates legend nearly outhit his opponents over the same stretch, as the Dodgers managed just 11 hits over those two games, both Pittsburgh victories.

With Clemente's Pirates back in a pennant race, here's the latest from the NL Central…

  • It's unlikely that the Cubs will deal either Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Marmol in August, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  "The Cubs say they’re still open to making a move, but they have nothing in the works," Wittenmyer writes.  Both players cleared trade waivers last week and Soriano already used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a deal to the Giants before the trade deadline.
  • The Cardinals can make their offense more consistent in 2013 by relying on a number of internal options, opines Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The only external solution Gordon suggests is that the Cards pick up a veteran shortstop to share time with Rafael Furcal.
  • Nine names have been rumored to be possible candidates for the Astros' managing job, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Of these nine, only Jim Riggleman has past experience managing in the Major Leagues; Heyman notes this aligns with GM Jeff Luhnow's desire for a more analytical approach to running the club, as detailed in a recent story by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.

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