Monday, June 8, 2009

MLB Power Rankings Week Nine

We've reached the 1/3rd mark of the season--not enough to know how things will end up, but certainly enough to see how things are shaping up.

30. Washington Nationals: Normally, you could say, "hey, they took one from the Mets", but the Mets are trotting out an AAA line up for all intents and purposes.

29. Baltimore Orioles: I guess the Beltway and baseball don't mix? With the exception, of course, of Matt Wieters.

28. Oakland Athletics: The A's are hitting much better of late, and whaddya know, they've started to in games. Pitching wins championships, but offense can win you the games to get there in the first place...though this team's got way too much to do for that to realy be a realistic possibility at this point. Now the question is where does Matt Holliday end up?

27. Colorado Rockies: They're really not this good, but you've got to give them some credit for their play this weekend against St. Louis. Actually, they've been playing well under interim manager Jim Tracy. Another week like this and they'll shoot up for real.

26. Houston Astros: They're still worse than the Pirates. Even after the Pirates gave up Nate McClouth. That says something.

25. Cleveland Indians: There's an argument to be made that when Carl Pavano is your best pitcher things are seriously amiss, but if you've actually looked at Pavano's recent numbers, he really has been pitching well. Yankees fans are, of course, seething.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates: With the trade of McClouth, the Pirates got rid of the last piece of their recognizable outfield--the only recognizable part of the team--but paved the way for Andrew McCutcheon. No pressure, kid.

23. Kansas City Royals: When even Zach Grienke is giving up seven ER in five innings, you know it's not going well.

22. San Diego Padres: Hey, they lost the 18-inning marathon and did the whole pitching-with-a-position-player thing...

21. Arizona Diamondbacks: And they won it.

20. Florida Marlins: Need to play the Nationals more often. But that Cody Ross is something to watch in the field.

19. Chicago White Sox: By traditional standards, the Sox play-by-play man on TV is the worst in baseball...but I find him kinda funny. It takes guts to blatantly cheer from the press box.

18. Seattle Mariners: Russell Branyan is having himself quite the season.

17. Minnesota Twins: Look, I know Detroit is running away with the AL Central...but the Twins should really make a better fight of it. They have it in them to be much better than this.

16. Atlanta Braves: The McClouth deal should send waves that the Braves are going for it, but they've got a lot to do to undo the PR damage they suffered by releasing Glavine in the manner they did.

15. Toronto Blue Jays: Roy Halladay is single handed-ly keeping this team treading water. Alex Rios has some PR damage control to do of his own after a YouTube video surfaced showing him being inappropriately rude to a fan, even though said fan is a notorious autograph hound that has bothered some on the Yankees as well.

14. LA Angels: Feels good to have a pitching staff back, don't it? Imagine how good it would feel to have a bullpen, too...

13. Tampa Bay Rays: Despite all the injuries, they're still playing pretty well. It'd be foolish to count them out at this point, but they need to make a move soon.

12. New York Mets: I know, I know, their record is much better than this, but the number of injuries would be comical if it wasn't so...crazy. Only two in their line up right now were starters on Opening Day: Wright, who has been streaky as all hell, and Beltran, who's battled a nasty virus as well.

11. San Francisco Giants: Well, they do say pitching wins championships...if only it wasn't for the Dodgers, they'd have an actual shot.

10. Cincinnati Reds: I don't know how they're still winning, but they are.

09. Chicago Cubs: Getting Zambrano back has certainly helped. The team's started to win again.

08. St. Louis Cardinals: How good is Pujols? Last night he got two RBI on a sac fly.

07. Texas Rangers: Don't let the record fool you, but they've struggled this year against +.500 teams. They did, however, take two of three from Boston, so there is something to be said for that. Nelson Cruz is turning into something special.

06. Philadelphia Phillies: They really really need to do something about Lidge--I know he's your closer, but you won't win championships when your closer has six blown saves and it's only June. Maybe try Madson in that spot?

05. Detroit Tigers: I'm not sure another team has a better starting three of Verlander-Jackson-Porcello right now, but Jackson has historically been hit-or-miss and Porello's still a rookie, so I'd still be careful.

04. Milwaukee Brewers: I'm not sure anyone picked them to be better than the Cubs (though some may have thought them better than the Cardinals), but they are. Really and truly. A Brewers fan went with us to Saturday's game and cheered CC the entire time.

03. Boston Red Sox: They're keeping pace, step-by-step with the Yankees and the two could run away with the division, and the AL's best records, if Tampa can't pick it up.

02. New York Yankees: And since the Yankees are the team in first, they get a higher nod, but they're still not as good as...

01. LA Dodgers: You know, this team might be playing better without Manny, and while the Yanks might be the Comeback Kids, the Dodgers have some late inning magic of their own.