General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. threw cold water on any rumors to that effect on Friday, saying, "He's not going anywhere." That strongly suggests the Phillies will pull Lee back from waivers rather than letting the Dodgers take on the rest of his contract or work out a trade.
It also keeps Lee in line to start against the D-backs and righty Trevor Cahill on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. On Saturday, the Phillies took a 3-0 victory that snapped the D-backs' four-game winning streak and evened the series, although Arizona still has won 11 of its past 15.
Despite a 2-6 record, Lee comes in sporting a 3.73 ERA after a strong July. In five starts, he gave up two earned runs or fewer four times and racked up a 30-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Nationals saw vintage Lee on Tuesday, when the former Cy Young winner held them to five hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings. The 33-year-old is still an elite pitcher in the eyes of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
"He's still got it. It's still there," Manuel said. "It's just a matter of him getting it going consistently again. He hasn't lost nothing. It's just that things haven't gone good for him this year, and at times, he's kind of made it tough on himself. He's had a rough year, but his talent is still there."
Cahill (9-9, 3.75 ERA) has allowed four earned runs or fewer in 20 of 21 starts in his first year with the D-backs, who are a close third in the National League West.
The results have been much stronger on the road, where Cahill's ERA sits at 2.79, more than two runs lower than his home mark. On Monday in Los Angeles, he held the Dodgers to one run on six hits in six innings to pick up a win.
D-backs: Johnson capitalizing on new opportunity
Third baseman Chris Johnson jumped from the bottom of the standings into the playoff chase when Houston dealt him to Arizona on July 29. So far, he's done his part to help the D-backs' chances.
Johnson went 0-for-3 on Saturday, but he entered the day 7-for-14 with one double, two home runs and eight RBIs for his new club.
"I was feeling pretty good before I got traded, trying to simplify my approach and just see the ball," Johnson said. "I've been seeing the ball pretty well. It was a good time for it, so I could come over here and be a little more comfortable and get some hits to try to help out."
Back pain kept Willie Bloomquist out for the fifth straight game on Saturday, but manager Kirk Gibson doesn't believe the team will need to put the veteran infielder on the disabled list. Bloomquist could return to the lineup on Sunday, according to Gibson.
Phillies: Ruiz's career year interrupted
Erik Kratz was in the lineup at catcher for the Phillies on Saturday, the first of many days the club will spend with starter Carlos Ruiz on the disabled list.
Ruiz was placed on the DL after an MRI revealed a partial tear in his left foot, expected to keep him out for four to six weeks. The All-Star backstop had been playing through plantar fasciitis after he first experienced discomfort 2 1/2 weeks ago.
"I feel real sad, because I was thinking it would maybe be day by day, you know? But there's nothing I can do except rest and then make sure when I come back I'm ready to help the team," said Ruiz, who started Saturday fourth in the NL with a .335 batting average and sixth with a .959 OPS.
Kratz, a 32-year-old longtime Minor Leaguer, will share catching duties with big league veteran Brian Schneider while Ruiz is out.
The Phillies recalled utility man Hector Luna to fill Ruiz's roster spot. Luna, 32, has played 26 games for the Phillies this season at first base, third base and left field, going 14-for-57 (.246) with two home runs and 10 RBIs.
This will be the last game of the season between the two teams, with Philadelphia leading the overall series, 3-2.
Lee has held opposing batters to a .223 average with the bases empty, compared with .331 when runners are on.
Lee posted a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the D-backs last season. Cahill gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Phillies on April 25, but he limited them to one run in 7 2/3 innings in his most recent start at Citizens Bank Park on June 25, 2011.