Carlos Ruiz will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Clearwater on Thursday.

The Phillies catcher has been out since he was hit in the helmet by a pitch on June 26., but he's been symptom-free for a while now and is ready to roll.  Ruiz will play with Clearwater through the weekend before rejoining the Phillies early next week if all goes well.

Could Ruiz be a trade target?

The 35-year old is hitting .257 with two home runs and 14 RBI - and could be an asset to a contending teams pitching staff.  One team to keep an eye on - the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals recently lost their catcher Yadier Molina, who has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his thumb and will undergo surgery on Friday. He's expected to miss 8-12 weeks, which could put him out of the mix for the rest of the regular season.

Could Ruiz be a fit?

The Cardinals figure to look outside of the organization for insurance behind the plate and Ruiz would be a very good replacement for Molina, however, the Phillies have re-signed Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $26MM contract in the offseason, meaning the Cardinals might not be a fit.