After two straight losses that dropped them further in the National League East (15 1/2) and NL Wild Card (11 1/2) standings, the Phillies (45-56) could choose to unload a couple of upcoming free agents to contending teams for prospects in return.
But first, they aim to salvage the final contest of a three-game set against the Braves on Sunday, their last game before the Deadline.
Roy Halladay (4-5, 4.32 ERA) will make his third start since returning from a seven-week stay on the disabled list for a strained right latissimus dorsi. The two-time Cy Young Award winner struggled in his last start, allowing six runs in six innings against the Brewers.
"I think he's gotta go out there probably two, three, four more times before you see the guy that can throw like he used to and also pinpoint his location off the chart," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think that's what we're talking about. You would probably like to see his velocity jump up a little bit and his movement on his ball and him command the strike zone like he used to."
Though he has good career numbers against the Braves (4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven starts), Doc had his worst outing of 2012 against the division foe. In a 15-13 Braves win on May 2, Halladay blew a six-run lead and, in all, surrendered eight runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
On the flip side, the Braves' Sunday starter won his only start against the Phillies this season. Veteran right-hander Tim Hudson (9-4, 3.71) shut out the Phils over seven innings and gave up just four hits in a 5-0 win on July 6.
Hudson has won his last three decisions and enters Sunday's matinee with two straight seven-inning performances.
Tuesday is also a big day for the Braves (56-44), who have won four straight, as they are in the market to add more pitching for the season's final stretch. They begin a four-game series against the Marlins on Monday.
"We're looking to upgrade the club," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said on Saturday.
Phillies: Ruiz battling foot problem
All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz was kept out of the starting lineup on Saturday, as he has been bothered by what Manuel deemed plantar fasciitis in the left foot.
Ruiz is expected to start Sunday's series finale. He pinch-hit and flied out in the eighth inning of Saturday's 2-1 defeat.
Ruiz, who leads the Phillies with a .343 average, said on Saturday that, at times, it has "felt like a knife" was in the back of his left foot.
"Sometimes when I wake up, it's tough to walk," he said.
Erik Kratz started in Ruiz's place on Saturday and went 1-for-3 with a double.
Right-hander Joe Blanton certainly didn't hurt his trade value with his performance on Saturday night. Though he was tagged with the loss, Blanton, a free agent at season's end, allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and issued only one walk.
Braves: Medlen could start Tuesday
If the Braves are unable to reel in another starting pitcher before Tuesday's Deadline, Gonzalez said that reliever Kris Medlen will start Tuesday against the Marlins.
Medlen, who has not started a Major League game since 2010, is 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 38 relief appearances this season.
"I'm really excited, don't get me wrong, but a lot of things can change," Medlen said. "I know they're looking for a veteran dude or whatever. But I'm more than willing to try it out."
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who broke his right pinkie sliding into second base in a July 8 win against the Phillies, hopes to get his cast removed next Friday. It's still unknown when the rookie will return to the field.
"Hopefully I don't have to do too much rehab to start playing," he said. "I don't know how many days that's going to take, but hopefully it's not that bad."
Simmons was hitting .296 with 15 RBIs and dazzled in the field before the injury.
Braves reliever Peter Moylan had a setback in his recovery from right shoulder surgery and was placed on the seven-day DL at Triple-A Gwinnett.
"A little tendinitis guys, could have pitched through but better to get it knocked out now. Be back on board in a week," the right-hander tweeted on Friday.
Phillies backup catcher Brian Schneider, who went on the DL on June 25, is 4-for-14 in four games of a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater.
Braves catcher Brian McCann snapped his streak of homering in every 2012 game against the Phillies on Saturday. McCann hit a long ball in each of the first six games of the season series before going 0-for-3 on Saturday. He hit a first-inning fly ball to dead center field that fell just feet short of the wall.