Blog Entry

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Posted on: May 6, 2008 8:38 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2008 8:39 pm
Again, I had more important things to take care of, so the rankings are coming out a day late. However everything is retroactive to Monday morning...

Week: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

1. Arizona Diamondbacks (21-10)
Previous Ranking:
Even with Eric Byrnes and Chris Young struggling to hit the ball, the Diamondbacks offense is still on of the best in the league. Conor Jackson deserves a lot of that credit as he's hitting .343/.421/.590 with 5 home runs and a team leading 25 RBI (7th in National League). Meanwhile, Brandon Webb is looking for his 2nd Cy Young award as he's started out 7-0 with an era of just 2.45. Prospect Max Scherzer will make his major league debut this week against the Phillies.

2. Chicago Cubs (18-13)
Previous Ranking:
2Kerry Wood is having trouble closing out ballgames and it's leaving some Cub fans questioning whether or not Carlos Marmol (1.29 era in 21 IP) should take over that role. The main reason the Cubs have the best offense in the National League is because of the performance of their rookies. Both Geovanny Soto and Kosuke Fukudome are off to outstanding starts. Soto leads all NL Rookies in Home Runs, RBI and doubles while Fukudome leads them in average, hits, walks and runs.

3. Los Angeles Angels (20-13)
Previous Ranking:
The Angels are winning a lot of games, but it's not because of their bullpen. The Halos bullpen is 2-4 with an era of 4.94 on the season so far, which ranks 13th in the American League. In the series against Oakland this past week, the bullpen gave up 17 runs in 3 games (Saunders pitcher a complete game on Tuesday). The only thing making up for the poor bullpen performance is the continued dominance by Joe Saunders (6-0, 2.61 era) and Ervin Santana (5.0, 2.48 era).

4. St. Louis Cardinals (20-12)
Previous Ranking:
Mark Mulder is on his way back, but do the Cardinals really want him? In his three rehab starts so far in the minor leagues, Mulder has allowed 12 runs in 19.2 IP. The Cardinals starters are currently second in the National League in era and Mulder hasn't been an effective big league starter since 2005. Combine the two and it should be obvious what the Cardinals should do.

5. Boston Red Sox (20-13)
Previous Ranking:
The Red Sox may be MLB's streakiest team. After lossing 5 games in a row at the end of last week, the Red Sox have since won five of their last six games facing the Blue Jays and Rays. Part of the reason for the turnaround? Jon Lester is 1-0 with a 0.64 era in his last two starts. Even with David Ortiz struggling to start the season, the Red Sox offense has been the best in the American League to this point. The team needs better performances from the pen if they want to be more consistent.

6. Oakland Athletics (19-14)
Previous Ranking:
The A's are going to have to face some tough roster decisions when Rich Harden and Keith Foulke come back from the DL this week. Greg Smith--6 IP, 10 K's, 1 ER in his last start has been pitching lights out in the A's rotation since being called up. Travis Buck is also expected to come off the DL later this week, but could be demoted to AAA Sacramento with Emil Brown and Jack Cust leading the team in offense.

7. New York Mets (16-13)
Previous Ranking:
The Mets starting pitching has been the teams one bright spot that is keeping them in ballgames. Outside of Billy Wagner and Pedro Feliciano, the bullpen has been horrible and players like Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Carlos Delgado are all struggling to hit the ball. Moises Alou's return from the disabled list couldn't have come at any better of time as the team needs his bat in the lineup right now.

8. Philadelphia Phillies (18-14)
Previous Ranking:
The Phillies bullpen has been solid so far this season and it's amazing how much a change of scenery can help certain players (i.e. Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero). However, the starting pitching has been just mediocre. Cole Hamels is the only pitcher with an era under 4.50. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell are both making up for the lack of production from Ryan Howard and the injury to Jimmy Rollins. If Howard can turn it around, there's no telling what this offense could do.

9. New York Yankees (17-16)
Previous Ranking:
We all know what the Yankees are capable of and we all know they haven't lived up to expectations so far. Despite having both Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada on the DL and despite the terrible starts to the season by Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy, the team is still 17-16 and keeping pace with the division leaders. Once they start getting healthy and getting better production from the back end of the rotation, this team can take off.

10. Milwaukee Brewers (16-15)
Previous Ranking:
It was a rough week for the Brewers as the Cubs put 19 runs on the board against them early in the week, Yovanni Gallardo tore his ACL and is out the season, and the team got swept by the Astros. With Gallardo gone for the year, the team is going to have a difficult time keeping up with the Cubs and Cardinals in the central division. Not to mention, things only get more difficult as Eric Gagne keeps blowing saves.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-14)
Previous Ranking:
The Dodgers were on fire this week winning 5 of their 6 games played. The teams winning streak put them back into 2nd place in the National League West and only 3.5 games back of the division leading Diamondbacks. It seems as if Joe Torre has finally learned just how good of a player Matt Kemp can be. Kemp hit .407 this past week with 11 RBI. With Kemp, Juan Pierre, and Andre Ethierall hitting above .300, it's going to be hard to keep penciling in Andruw Jones in centerfield.

12. Florida Marlins (17-14)
Previous Ranking:
The Marlins still have Some of the NL's worst starting pitching, but it isn't because of Mark Hendrickson (5-1, 3.79 era) or Scott Olsen (3-1, 2.70 era). The teams bullpen is 6-4 with a 3.13 era thus far which is keeping them in close ballgames. Dan Uggla is starting to hit the ball very well and has 4 home runs in the past week along with 8 RBI.

13. Atlanta Braves (15-15)
Previous Ranking:
The Braves have a ton of pitchers on the disabled list, but are continuing to hang tough. Even at 15-15, the team is still only 2 games back in the division. John Smoltz has said he will be returning to the Braves as a reliever, but it's difficult to see if it will make the team better. Meanwhile, Mark Kotsay is surprising a lot of people (including myself) with his strong bat at the plate.

14. Toronto Blue Jays (15-17)
Previous Ranking:
Even though the team still sits in last place in the American League East, the Blue Jays are ranked better than both the Orioles and Rays because their strong starting pitching is still keeping them in ballgames. After losing two of three in Boston last week, the Jays responded with a strong effort to sweep the White Sox. Since returning from the disabled list, B.J. Ryan is 4 for 4 in save opportunities and has yet to give up a run this season.

15. Minnesota Twins (16-14)
Previous Ranking:
With a five game winning streak by the Twins and a five game losing streak by the White Sox, the Twins have found themselves in first place in the American League Central division. Joe Mauer seems to have regained his stroke and is now leading the team with a .333 batting average. However, who knows how long the Twins can keep this up. The teams 63 walks is worst in the American League by a huge margin.

16. Baltimore Orioles (16-15)
Previous Ranking:
It was a rough week for the Orioles after they lost two of three from both the Rays and Angels. During that stretch, the Orioles hit just .238 as a team. The team has now fallen into 2nd place in the American League East and is facing a seven game road trip against Oakland and Kansas City before returning home to face the Red Sox.

17. Chicago White Sox (14-15)
Previous Ranking:
Nothing could make Ozzie Guillen any angrier than all the negative attention he's been receiving now that the Sox have gone on a five game losing streak. Guillen criticized just about everyone in the Chicago area for all the negative remarks about the team. Note to Guillen: Cussing people out isn't exactly the way to get people to have faith in your team......On a side note, Nick Swisher was just 3 for 23 last week and dropped his average to .208 on the season.

18. Tampa Bay Rays (16-15)
Previous Ranking:
After sweeping the Red Sox last week, Boston returned the favor over the weekend. With Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, and B.J. Upton not bating anywhere near their potential, the Rays offense should only continue to improve as the season wears on. Meanwhile, Troy Percival is looking solid as the Rays closer. In ten innings pitched thus far, Percival has yet to give up a run, has 9:1 K/BB ratio, and has six saves on the year.

19. Houston Astros (16-16)
Previous Ranking:
Lance Berkman has been the main reason for the Astros return to .500. Berkman's 10 home runs, and 31 batted in are second in the majors. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise to the rotation has to be the slow start of Roy Oswalt and the hot start of Shawn Chacon. Chacon has 5 quality starts in 6 games started, but doesn't have a single win on his record to show for it.

20. Cleveland Indians (14-17)
Previous Ranking:
Just when we start thinking the Indians are starting to come out of their slump, they crawl right back in it by losing games to the Royals, Mariners, and Yankees last week. It should be a challenging week ahead as the team faces the Yankees in New York before returning home to face the Blue Jays over the weekend. C.C. Sabathia is slowly getting better after his poor start to the season, but he's still not quite the Cy Young pitcher we saw a year ago.

21. Detroit Tigers (14-18)
Previous Ranking:
This is a crucial week for the Tigers as they face both the Red Sox and the Yankees at home. While the team is still very close in the division race, they can't afford to lose both of these series. After the team cut Jacque Jones, it looks as if Gary Sheffield will be the teams regular left fielder. According to Sheffield, playing the outfield will help him raise his .183 batting average.

22. Kansas City Royals (14-16)
Previous Ranking:
Aside from Zach Greinke, the Royals starting pitching has been below average. We still don't understand why Tony Pena--.157/.174/.202--still has a job as an everyday regular. I mean, wasn't he supposed to be better than Angel Berroa? With Berroa hitting .288 at AAA Omaha, it might be time to make a switch.

23. Seattle Mariners (13-19)
Previous Ranking:
The team that was supposed to be contenders for the division now has one of the worst records in the league. Adding Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien to the lineup should help the team, but the fact that the Mariners called them up now is ridiculous when all they needed was one more week in the minors to have them under control for one more season. The Mariners are at home this week against Texas and the struggling White Sox, so they should turn it around.

24. San Francisco Giants (14-18)
Previous Ranking:
Well...that was fast. Before I even get a chance to talk about Barry Zito moving to the bullpen, the Giants announced that he will be inserted right back into the starting rotation. We knew it was a mistake for the Giants to give up on Rajai Davis so soon. Since joining the Athletics, Davis is hitting .333 with three RBI's as the A's 4th outfielder.

25. Washington Nationals (14-18)
Previous Ranking:
A solid week overall for the Nationals as they went 5-1 against Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Despite the bad reputation, the Nationals have 3 starts that all have era's under 4. Meanwhile, Felipe Lopez is making the most of his opportunities since taking over the 2nd base job from Ronnie Belliard.

26. Cincinnati Reds (12-20)
Previous Ranking:
If things keep going the way they are for the Reds, both Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. might be wearing different uniforms in the second half. However, it might be the best thing for the team as the Reds as it would allow them to call up Jay Bruce and give their youngsters a look.

27. Pittsburgh Pirates (12-19)
Previous Ranking:
Adam LaRoche looks like a mere shell of his former self. The player that hit 32 homers and 90 RBI for the Braves just two seasons ago is long gone. As things stand now, LaRoche--who was 10th in the NL in strikeouts last season--is 5th so far this season with 32. He also is one of the league leaders in grounding into double plays.

28. Colorado Rockies (12-19)
Previous Ranking:
The pitching has already been bad and the loss of Troy Tulowitski until the All-Star break is going to hurt the team both offensively and defensively. It's remarkable to think that this is the same team that represented the National League in the World Series last season. However, one offensive surprise has been Willy Tavares, who has stolen 14 bases in 15 attempts.

29. San Diego Padres (12-20)
Previous Ranking:
Fans of the Friars have to be wondering what's going on. Adrian Gonzalez is the only player performing on offense. Khalil Greene, Scott Hairston, Jim Edmonds, Tadahito Iguchi, and Josh Bard are all hitting under .250. It's time the Padres stopped blaming the park and start get real players in their. Either that, or they can do what the Tigers did and move the fence in closer. There is no excuse for this team having the worst record in the majors.

30. Texas Rangers (13-19)
Previous Ranking:
Josh Hamilton continues to lead the majors in RBI, but the player he was traded for (Edinson Volquez) is leading the National League in era (1.27). The biggest surprise of the week for the Rangers has been the hot bat of Brandon Boggs. Since being called up, Boggs is hitting .333 in 24 at bats. Meanwhile, Sidney Ponson has--somehow--only given up 2 runs in over 13 innings pitched this season.
Category: MLB

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2008 12:02 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

MLB Rankings May 5

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 8:46 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Yea. I'm hoping at the All-Star break MacPhail can get a good shortstop or second baseman prospect that could be put in now for one of the many trade chips.Yeah, but the team doesn't really have that many high profile people to trade. Roberts would probably bring in a handful of prospects, but it looks as if Angelos wants to keep him on the team. Meanwhile, Ramon Hernandez is not helping his trade value at all with his .202 batting average and .234 obp. He's been in constant decline since 2006 and it's looking more and more like the O's will have to eat part of his contract if they want to move him. I guess if they hold on to him through the end of next season and buy out his 2010 option, Matt Wieters will be ready for the big leagues by then.

Meanwhile, on that note, I'm surprised the O's haven't promoted Wieters to AA yet. I mean, he clearly doesn't belong in A+ ball right now. He's hitting .340/.420/.540, with 5 homers, 18 RBI, and 22 runs in 100 AB so far. In addition, he's also thrown out nearly half of the runners that have tried to steal on him.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 8:11 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Yea. I'm hoping at the All-Star break MacPhail can get a good shortstop or second baseman prospect that could be put in now for one of the many trade chips. Freddie Bynum is our only hope right now unless we bring Cintron up, and either way it is a crappy position. Scott Moore has been working 2B and SS so hopefully he could bring so pop of the bat when he comes back to the majors.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 7:46 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

I just wish Luis Hernandez didn't slack so much at shortstop. He could have gotten a double play and Sherrill the save but he had to sit back and let the ball come to him.Quite honestly dragonrider, I don't think Luis Hernandez will be in the big leagues too long. It's not his defense that worries me either, it's his bat. He'll never have any pop, he doesn't look like he has tons of speed, and he's not patient enough at the plate. In my opinion, the only reason he's starting for Baltimore is because their really isn't any other option now that the team has traded Tejada.

From the looks of it, the O's don't really have many options in their minors. Alex Cintron is their shortstop at AAA and he's not much better.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 7:28 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

I just wish Luis Hernandez didn't slack so much at shortstop. He could have gotten a double play and Sherrill the save but he had to sit back and let the ball come to him.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 7:22 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Try last year. He was nothing to get excited about. Batters are seeing him for the first time with Cincy. They will begin to tee off on him in a couple of months. Just wait.C'mon man. You can say the same thing about Hamilton in the American League.

That's the Rangers whole problem. They don't allow their players to develop. They take what they see in a small sample size and think that that is how they will play throughout the course of their career. I mean, just look at the difference between them and Oakland. Did you know that Dan Haren was 1-7 with a 5.19 era before he started to turn things around in Oakland? Most pitchers don't automatically come to the majors and have success in their first season. The one's that do are rare.

Volquez was only 23 last season and as bad as you make him sound, he still was the Rangers best pitcher. His era last season was 4.50, which was still on par with major league average. But instead of waiting for their player to develop, the Rangers just decided to ship him out of town. They did the same thing with Chris Young and they did the same thing with John Danks. I hope you do realize that the Rangers would actually be a contender this season with those three in their rotation.

Hamilton has been great for the Rangers offense, but he changes nothing when it comes to overall standings. The best way to win in this league is to stockpile quailty pitching and the Rangers just refuse to do so.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 7:10 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

After that shitty series against the A's, the O's have to be out of the Top 20 next week. Maybe they can take 3/4 from the Royals and get back on track.If they can win the series against the Royals, then they won't be that bad, but getting swept by the A's hurts. I thought the Orioles had a great chance to win that game yesterday when they got 3 off of Brown to take the lead, but the A's were able to get one more to send it to extras. The Orioles really didn't play that bad in the series, it's just the A's capitalized on the right opportunities. Emil Brown was huge once again for Oakland.

The A's have to be ticking off a lot of people right now.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 7:00 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Jair Jurrjens is 4-2 and 2.84 with the Braves.I know. I knew that trade would backfire on the Tigers. Renteria has never been good in the American League and pitching is a lot more valuable than shortstop. As much as the Tigers "needed a shortstop" Carlos Guillen would have still been serviceable and the team could have either signed a first basemen or stuck with Brandon Inge at 3rd and have 10 million dollars to invest on another need (like bullpen).

Not exactly the smartest move the Tigers ever made.

You have the Tigers ranked #21.The Tigers really need to make a trade for pitching, but now that they acquired Renteria, Cabrera, and Willis, they have no one left in the farm system to deal. They are in a catch 22 situation and I don't know how they are going to get out of it.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 6:58 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

After that shitty series against the A's, the O's have to be out of the Top 20 next week. Maybe they can take 3/4 from the Royals and get back on track.

 +  = ugggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2008 6:49 pm

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

I think it's a little early in the season to judge the Braves by their strength of schedule.Maybe, Maybe not.....But do you really expect the Rockies, Marlins, Pirates, and Nationals to be good teams this season? I certainly don't. Teams that make the playoffs get there by beating teams that they should beat and staying competitive against the rest. The Braves haven't done that so far.........Once they start doing so, I will start raising them higher in the standings. From the looks of it so far (with their sweep over the Padres), they will be placed higher in my power rankings next week. That is--unless--Pittsburgh sweeps them over the weekend.

I got a world of grief for ranking the Cubs and Cardinals the same place you did. It must be nice to be the king.LOL.....I wish I would have seen that thread . I would have backed you up. I've been longing for a good argument. People just seem to back away more often now because 9 times out of 10 I'm right.

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