NL Notes: Cardinals, Giants, Phillies

As we wait to hear more about the much-discussed trade of Ricky Nolasco, here are a few links on some National League clubs:

  • The Cardinals will go as far as their rotation can take them, argues Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While the club's outstanding start has slowed, GM John Mozeliak insists that he still feels comfortable with the internal rotation depth he has at his disposal. Nevertheless, he says that he "reserve[s] the right to re-examine things [over] the next four weeks."
  • Not so long ago, the Giants looked like a contender that might look to shore up some holes before the trade deadline. Now, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says (on Sulia), the team is playing its way into becoming an obvious seller. He argues that, unless the team can manage at least a .500 mark on its current homestand, it should consider dealing Hunter Pence, Javier Lopez, and possibly Tim Lincecum
  • With players like Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, and Jonathan Papelbon receiving much of the attention as difficult trade decisions for the Phillies, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that the club's most complicated quandary involves catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz could fetch a nice return on a market that does not include many attractive catching options, in spite of his tepid start to the season. Perhaps more importantly, he probably does not make long-term sense for the Phils, as he is set to become a free agent and enter 2014 at the age of 35. Nevertheless, explains Brookover, the club's replacement options all come with serious risk, making Ruiz potentially very difficult to replace.
  • The Phillies also received some unwelcome news today, as Ryan Howard finally went to the 15-day DL to rest his aching knee. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says the team will be "conservative" with Howard and could not rule out the need for surgery. Certainly, Howard is no longer a potential piece of trade bait (however unlikely such a scenario may have been), and his loss could edge the Phils away from keeping its full roster together for a postseason run.

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