Blog Entry

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

Posted on: April 22, 2008 7:24 pm
 
The week four power rankings are coming out about a day and a half late as I've had stuff I've needed to deal with. However, all rankings are retroactive to Monday morning, meaning that games yesterday and today are not taken into consideration. The top four in my rankings don't change this week as all have had solid weeks.....For more, keep reading.

Coming to you every Monday......


1. Arizona Diamondbacks (13-5)
Previous Ranking:
1
The Diamondbacks stay at my number one ranking after winning back to back series this week against the Giants and Padres. The team is clicking on all cylinders as they are number one in the National League in offense and pitching. 12 of the D-backs league leading 13 wins have come against division rivals. That success has given them a comfortable four game cushion in the west.

2. Boston Red Sox (13-7)
Previous Ranking:
2
The Red Sox are winning the games they should win, and staying competitive in games against competitors. Their nine come from behind victories leads the majors. While the pitching staff has been mediocre, their offense is on a roll. Even with Lowell on the DL and Big Papi struggling, many other role players are stepping up their game.

3. Chicago Cubs (12-6)
Previous Ranking:
3
With Alfonso Soriano out, the Cubs are going to need Reed Johnson and Ryan Theriot to stay hot with the bat. Speaking of which, Derrek Lee is off to a torrid start this season. His 7 home runs leads the majors. The team starts next week with a 2 game set at home against the Mets before heading out to Colorado and Washington on the road.

4. New York Mets (10-7)
Previous Ranking:
4
The Mets were one of baseball's hottest teams this week after sweeping the Nationals and taking two out of three from the Phillies on the road. Johan Santana delivered yet another strong outing for the team on Friday. If David Wright (.359 avg., 4 hr) continues to hit like he has so far, his name could be in the mix for MVP at the end of the year.

5. Los Angeles Angels (12-8)
Previous Ranking:
6
Maybe I should have kept quiet. Just a week after I praise Howie Kendrick for his hot start to the season, he manages to find the disabled list with a strained hamstring. While it's not a major injury, Kendrick seems to have way too many of these smaller ones. However, the Angels still managed to win five of their seven games last week against Texas, Kansas City, and Seattle (with a little help from Torii Hunter).

6. St. Louis Cardinals (12-7)
Previous Ranking:
14
I've been underrating the Cardinals these past few weeks, so now seems like a perfect time to reward them. The bullpen has a league leading 2.97 era, the starting pitchers have an team era of just 3.53 and their offense is 4th in the National League so far. In addition, the signing of Kyle Lohse is looking like one of the most underrated signings this past offseason.

7. Milwaukee Brewers (11-7)
Previous Ranking:
9
Another week and another blown save for Eric Gagne. If he stays their all season long, he is going to cost the team a lot of ballgames. What an absolute waste of 10 million dollars. The Brewers will need Yavani Gallardo to anchor the rotation while Ben Sheets is out due to injury.


8. Oakland Athletics (12-8)
Previous Ranking:
12
The A's are winning ballgames any way they can. Their seven home runs is fewest in the majors. However, the team leads the majors in triples, is close to the top in doubles, and has had the best pitching staff in the American League through this point. Dan Eveland and Greg Smith, who were throw ins in the Dan Haren deal have been outstanding so far in the A's rotation.

9. Seattle Mariners (10-10)
Previous Ranking:
13
Seattle became the first team to beat the A's in a series last week since Oakland lost the opening series to the Red Sox. As expected, the Erik Bedard deal has significantly improved their rotation.....and made their bullpen the worst in the American League. The M's have a chance to get revege against the Orioles--who swept them earlier this year--as they face them at home this week.

10. Chicago White Sox (11-7)
Previous Ranking:
15
I knew their offense would be solid this season. I also knew that the bullpen would be much improved with the additions of Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel. However, what I didn't expect was for the Sox's starting pitching to be this effective. Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Javier Vasquez have been practically untouchable this season and the Sox's worst pitcher is Mark Buehrle. Who would have expected that?

11. New York Yankees (10-10)
Previous Ranking:
5
The Yankees are a frustrating team to watch. They have been playing well against competitors, but have been losing series to teams that they should easily beat. Because of this, they are getting demoted this week despite having a winning record last week. Meanwhile, Hank Steinbrenner should look in the mirror before calling anything "idiotic." His remarks this past week were not what the team needed.

12. Toronto Blue Jays (10-9)
Previous Ranking:
8
The cutting of Frank Thomas at this point in the year is an embarrassment for the Jays. J.P. Ricciardi and John Gibbons should be ashamed for how they handled the situation. Thomas came through in some clutch situations this season against the Red Sox and A's and his presence alone is enough to make opposing pitchers change their game plan. With the absence of Thomas, look for Vernon Wells numbers to decline. The Blue Jays stand little chance without Big Hurt.

13. Atlanta Braves (9-9)
Previous Ranking:
17
Tom Glavine hit the DL for the first time in his career this past week, but that didn't stop the Braves from winning. Chipper Jones is putting together phenominal numbers without Andruw Jones in the lineup and Mark Teixeira is finally starting to heat up. The Braves have plenty of offense and pitching depth to win ballgames.

14. Philadelphia Phillies (9-10)
Previous Ranking:
11
It seems as if all Brad Lidge needed was a change of scenery. He has yet to give up a run in seven innings pitched so far this season. Ryan Howard's struggles so far this season have been alarming. He isn't hitting the ball and is leading the majors with 27 strikeouts.


15. Colorado Rockies (9-9)
Previous Ranking:
21
After a 1-5 start to the season, the Rockies have gone 8-4 over the past two weeks to put them back into 2nd place in the National League West. Clint Barmes is off to another hot start to the season.....Just make sure he doesn't go shopping.


16. San Diego Padres (9-10)
Previous Ranking:
10
The Padres have had the worst offense in the National League up to this point. Despite leading the league with 14 quality starts, the team only has 9 wins to show for it. The pitching staff is getting the fewest amount of runs support per game at 3.08 runs. The Padres also have the worst record in the majors when facing a left handed pitcher on the mound. They've had a relatively easy schedule so far and they need to take advantage of it.

17. Baltimore Orioles (11-8)
Previous Ranking:
27
They are hanging tough against difficult opponents. The bullpen has been key for the team winning ballgames. The Orioles are also getting solid production from Luke Scott and Nick Markakis.


18. Florida Marlins (11-7)
Previous Ranking:
28
The Marlins pitching has been terrible, yet they're still managing to win ballgames. Hanley Ramirez is leading the team in all offensive categories and already has six homeruns this month. Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham have stepped their game up without Miguel Cabrera in the lineup. The team has a seven game road trip this week against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Milwaukee.

19. Minnesota Twins (9-10)
Previous Ranking:
18
The Twins offense has been the worst in the American League so far, yet the pitching has managed to keep them in ballgames. Carlos Gomez is struggling to do anything with the bat thus far, Francisco Liriano is struggling on the mound, and the absence of both Torii Hunter and Johan Santana is being felt in the twin cities.

20. Kansas City Royals (9-10)
Previous Ranking:
19
It was a rough week for the Royals as they went just 2-5 against Seattle, Los Angeles, and Oakland. However, despite the struggles, the team is still in second place in the AL Central and is getting solid efforts from their pitching staff. The Royals have another tough week ahead of them as they face Cleveland and Toronto at home.

21. Cincinnati Reds (8-11)
Previous Ranking:
20
Despite signing Francisco Cordero to that huge deal this offseason, he only has two saves for the team as the team hasn't been leading many ballgames. Corey Patterson is off to a terrible start to the season. If he keeps it up, it will only be a matter of time before we see Jay Bruce in the big leagues.

22. Cleveland Indians (7-12)
Previous Ranking:
8
C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona continue to struggle with their command, Jake Westbrook is heading to the DL, and the Indians team batting average (.235) is lowest in the American League. Meanwhile, Joe Borowski's injury may have come as a blessing in disguise for the team. While everyone is ridiculing the Tigers slow start, no one is looking at the constant struggles of the Indians.

23. Detroit Tigers (6-13)
Previous Ranking:
23
The Tigers offense is slowly coming back to life thanks in large part to the play of Carlos Guillen. It should only continue to improve once players start returning from the disabled list. Now all the team needs is for the pitching staff to turn it around. The Tigers head home this week to take on the Rangers and Angels.

24. Tampa Bay Rays (8-11)
Previous Ranking:
22
The signing of Evan Longoria to a six year deal was one of the best things a Tampa Bay fan could hope for. Not only does it mean that Longoria will be on the major league roster for the rest of the year, but if he develops as many scouts expect him to, the Rays could have him at quite a bargain through his arbitration years.

25. San Francisco Giants (8-11)
Previous Ranking:
29
The Giants pitching staff--with no thanks to Barry Zito--is keeping the team in ballgames and allowing them to win games. Recently called up John Bowker is tearing the cover off of the ball on offense as well. Omar Vizquel has been cleared to play in extended spring training games and is likely to return to the lineup in early May.

26. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-11)
Previous Ranking:
17
The Dodgers are struggling to hit the ball. Andruw Jones, who the team signed for 18 million dollars a year this past offseason, was in the lineup batting 8th for the first time since 1998. After hitting 41home runs three years ago, Jones has fallen in complete decline and it makes you wonder if he can get any worse.

27. Houston Astros (7-12)
Previous Ranking:
24
The addition of Miguel Tejada still hasn't changed anything. The Astros still have one of the worst offenses in the National League. Meanwhile, the trade for Jose Valverde isn't looking to good as the Astros have blown 40% of their save opportunities so far.


28. Texas Rangers (7-12)
Previous Ranking:
26
It must be tough to be a baseball fan in Texas these days. The Rangers have struggled against just about every team they've played and now are close to having the worst record in the American League. Kevin Millwood has started the season off pitching really well, but only has a 1-2 record to show for it. Meanwhile, Jason Jennings is picking up right where he left off last season and could be waived by the end of the year.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-11)
Previous Ranking:
25
The Pirates 24 errors (.969 fielding percentage) is the worst in the majors right now. Nate "McLovin" McLouth is crushing the ball right now and making Pirates fans quickly forget about Chris Duffy (who?). On the oher hand, Adam LaRoche is struggling again in April as he's hitting just .123 with only 1 home run and 3 RBI.

30. Washington Nationals (5-14)
Previous Ranking:
30
The Nationals are well on their way to a 100 loss season if they keep this up. The injury to Paul Lo Duca should help the team as it gives Jesus Flores regular playing time. I still don't understand why the team released John Patterson right before the season started.
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2008 12:02 am
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

I wasnt arguing with his batting stats (well not arguing at all, haha) but more just stating that he has had spots of greatness that isnt shown in his AVG, OBP etc.  You cant argue the stats at all, he has struggled, but I would say he cant do anything, he just cant do it consistantly, because when he gets a hit it is always a great hit. (It is just bad any other time) haha. 

I agree, he needs to be sent down in the order, he isnt patient enough to be hitting lead off and seems like the pressure is really getting at him, I meen he is only 22.  I would like Harris there.  Harris has hit well so far this season.  I wish that the Twins would start playing Tolbert on a more daily role, rather then just now and then as a UTIL.  I hope when Cuddy gets back they could turn the hitting around because if they could they could be at the top of the Central, considering it isnt far out of reach now.




Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2008 8:10 pm
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

For The Twins I wouldnt say Carlos Gomez has struggled to do anything with his bat. Then what do you call a .230 batting average and a .247 on base percentage? His OPS is only .557 as well. That's terrible. He needs to step it up with his bat. His defense is fine, and he can steal plenty of bases, but he needs to get on base first. For the time being, if I were the Twins, I'd bat Gomez 9th and have Brendan Harris hit leadoff. It might take some pressure off of him while he gets adjusted to the league and it should help the team win more ballgames.

Only plus to the hitting is they seem to bring the runs in when guys get on base, but i dont know what the AVG is with RISP off the top of my head?You're correct there. Minnesota is tied with Oakland for first as far as batting average with runners in scoring position with an average of .316.



Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2008 6:01 pm
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

For The Twins I wouldnt say Carlos Gomez has struggled to do anything with his bat.  But he has struggled to do anything consistantly.  The plus side to his game is he is young and has shown some great potential, it just isnt there yet.  Fouling off bunts time after time and way too many strike outs isnt exceptable off the leadoff spot.  The Twins havent been able to hit consistantly and I think if that continues its going to be hard for the pitchers to keep there unbalievable play up.  Only plus to the hitting is they seem to bring the runs in when guys get on base, but i dont know what the AVG is with RISP off the top of my head?



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2008 3:06 pm
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

Lets face it, Edinson Volquez would of never developed in Texas system.By saying this, you are basically stating that the Rangers are incapable of developing quality starting pitching which is completely untrue. The team can't just give up on pitching because of the ballpark they play in. Both Edinson Volquez and Chris Young looked promising when they put on a Rangers uniform, yet both were shipped out of town. As shown by previous seasons, the Rangers can't win by outslugging everybody and until management finally realizes this, they continue to fail.

People are calling for Ron Washington's head. What do you think about that?It's Nolan Ryan that's promoting it, so I think Washington will probably be fired byb the end of the year. However, I don't necessarily think it's fair. What more can Washington do? He's been handed a bad roster, and he's getting bad results. The person who should be fired is Jon Daniels. He has made terrible trades and signings since taking over as the Rangers GM and it's about time management takes accountability. Here are some of the bad moves Daniels has made:
  • Traded Alfonso Soriano for Termel Sledge and Brad Wilkerson (could have gotten much better)
  • Traded Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young, and Sledge to Padres for Adam Eaton (half a season) and Akinori Otsuka
  • Traded Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix for Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz
  • Traded David Dellucci for Robinson Tejeda
  • Resigned Vincente Padilla after trading for him in the first place
  • Traded John Danks and Nick Massett for Brandon McCarthy
  • Signed Jason Jennings
His mistakes have been HUGE. Meanwhile, he has NEVER addressed the Rangers pitching problems and has been extremely complacent. I don't understand how an owner can have so much confidence in a man that has done so little for his ballclub. How long does Daniels get to turn around this team? Is it really Washington's fault (after only a year and a couple months) that the Rangers are still bad?.....I don't think so. The Rangers need to get a competent GM.



Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: April 23, 2008 1:17 pm
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

BP- I think you are being too kind to the Rangers. They deserve to be 29th. The bullpen is terrible. C.J. Wilson is a head case when he is asked to step in before the 9th inning. Joaquin Benoit has been erratic to say the least. The only bright spot on the Rangers right now is Josh Hamilton who hit his AL leading 20th RBI last night(tied with Manny Ramirez). I know you will say the Reds got the better of the Hamilton/Volquez deal but both clubs are benefitting from the deal. Lets face it, Edinson Volquez would of never developed in Texas system. I still have faith in the Rangers, but it is going to be a long road to redemption. People are calling for Ron Washington's head. What do you think about that?



Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: April 23, 2008 9:13 am
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

Good post. Keep it coming. You were right about the Red Sox last week.

Good moves - Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Marlins, Indians

Bad moves - Mariners, Braves, Dodgers




Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2008 7:46 pm
 

MLB Power Rankings: Week 4

Whoot Whoot Orioles make the Top 20!

 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com