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MLB Power Rankings: Rockies looking scary

May 16, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:

1. Detroit Tigers (LW: 1) — Zuckerman: Every member of their rotation has an ERA under 3.25.

2. San Francisco Giants (LW: 2) — Hughes: San Francisco is 5-1 against the Braves this year and Michael Morse has three homers in those games. Weird.

3. Oakland Athletics (LW: 4) — Hughes: Could it be an all-Bay Area World Series? The A’s looked like a powerhouse against the Nats.

4. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 3) — Zuckerman: No ace, but five quality starters give them a chance every night.

5. Atlanta Braves (LW: 6) — Roney: They should have the best-hitting outfield in baseball, but for a season plus six weeks, it hasn’t even been top half.

6. Colorado Rockies (LW: 5) — Hughes: Is Justin Morneau officially back? He’s hitting .320 with eight homers, 30 RBI and a .918 OPS.

7. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 15) — Hughes: Mike Trout is all of a sudden looking human, yet the Angels are winning. Makes no sense.

8. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW: 8) — Hughes: If they don’t get it together soon, the Dodgers could have a tough time catching the Giants in the NL West.

9. Baltimore Orioles (LW: 11) — Roney: Think of where Baltimore could be with a legit ace. One of these days, they’re going to have to finally land one somehow.

10. Washington Nationals (LW: 7) — Roney: Amid all of the Tommy John and repeat Tommy John surgeries so far this spring, the Nats have to be worried about guys like Lucas Giolito.

11. Boston Red Sox (LW: 18) — Roney: Turns out MLB agreed with David Ortiz on that error/non-error in Darvish’s gem. Did not see that coming.

12. New York Yankees (LW: 12) — Roney: In his first eight MLB starts, Masahiro Tanaka (6-0, 2.17 ERA) has had an even more impressive debut than did Yu Darvish (6-1, 2.60). Exactly what the Yankees have needed this year.

13. St. Louis Cardinals (LW: 10) — Zuckerman: Haven’t played well yet, but you know they’ll be there in the end.

14. Kansas City Royals LW: 24) — Zuckerman: Moustakas and Butler need to get it together at the plate.

15. Miami Marlins (LW: 9) — Roney: Heartbreaking for all of baseball that Jose Fernandez is bound for Tommy John. Pitch counts and “kid gloves” clearly aren’t the answer.

16. Seattle Mariners (LW: 14) — Hughes: Mike Zunino is finally looking like the guy who was picked third overall in 2012.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (LW: 19) — Roney: Dioner Navarro has been a pleasant surprise offensively. Jose Reyes, unfortunately, isn’t holding up his end of the bargain.

18. Texas Rangers (LW: 13) — Hughes: It was just a few weeks ago the Rangers looked like a really good team. Now they are reeling and Prince is hitting .252. Yikes.

19. New York Mets (LW: 17) — Roney: Extremely impressive debut from Jacob deGrom. The Mets sure have more than their share of talented young starters.

20. Chicago White Sox (LW: 16) — Zuckerman: Good news: They’ve scored the most runs in the AL. Bad news: They’ve given up the most runs in the AL.

21. Cleveland Indians (LW: 26) — Zuckerman: Swisher, Santana each hitting under .200. That can’t continue.

22. Minnesota Twins (LW: 20) — Zuckerman: Suzuki is hitting .312 with 25 RBI???!!!

23. San Diego Padres (LW: 27) — Hughes: San Diego’s top three starters – Cashner, Ross and Kennedy – look like one of the best trios in baseball right now.

24. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 23) — Zuckerman: Cueto has pitched brilliantly, but lack of run support has killed him.

25. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 21) — Roney: Odd to see the Rays down this low for this long. Looks like pitching attrition is finally catching up with them.

26. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW: 25) — Zuckerman: Free Gregory Polanco! Before it’s too late!

27. Philadelphia Phillies (LW: 22) — Roney: It was right around this time last year that Domonic Brown hulked out on the rest of the league. His team needs more of that, and less of the Bruce Banner impression he’s been doing all year.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 29) — Hughes: Though their record doesn’t show it, the D-Backs may be starting to turn things around. Their pitching is just awful, though.

29. Chicago Cubs (LW: 28) — Zuckerman: They’re repainting the marquee at Wrigley Field. That should do the trick.

30. Houston Astros (LW: 30) — Hughes: Every single player who has registered a plate appearance for the Astros this year has homered. Kind of interesting.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - May 16, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Query: If ‘power rankings’ are supposed to be a snapshot of where teams stand in terms of their current strength, why does the Washington analysis read: “10. Washington Nationals (LW: 7) — Roney: Amid all of the Tommy John and repeat Tommy John surgeries so far this spring, the Nats have to be worried about guys like Lucas Giolito.”? Just wondering.

    • davecydell - May 16, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Re: TJ Surgery

      On the surface it is good for baseball; pitchers come back better and more durable, generally.

      The flip side: With modern medicine rebuilding bodies, it is akin to performance enhancing drugs.

      • therealjohnc - May 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        Pitchers who have TJ do not come back better and stronger than ever because of the surgery. If they improve (and most do not; they come back somewhere close to where they were before), it’s much more likely due to more effective conditioning and/or improved mechanics. To analogize TJ surgery with PEDs is silly, unless you’re willing to say that surgery to remove bone spurs and/or setting a broken leg are “performance enhancing.”

        A better argument, interestingly, might be LASIK surgery. Although we’re OK with players wearing corrective lenses, contacts, or sunglasses.

    • Hiram Hover - May 16, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Agreed.

      A number of these write-ups are like that – quirky facts about the team rather than commentary/explanation for the ranking, and/or change in ranking from the prior week.

      For Houston and the White Sox, that’s probably more interesting than anything else that could be said at this point. But about the Nats and the Red Sox, for example, I’d prefer to hear something more substantive.

  2. Section 222 - May 16, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Strange one line summary for the Nats. If they are worried, which I kind of doubt they are since what can you do at this point, wouldn’t they be worried about JZnn or Stras?

    Also, Trout hit a 3-run walkoff homer last night. He’s still inhuman.

    • David Proctor - May 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Interestingly, he leads baseball in strikeouts (over 50) and is on pace for over 200. His average is down to like .260. He will be fine I’m sure, but he’s been struggling lately, apart from the aforementioned homer.

    • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      I read he’s the fourth youngest player to achieve both a walk-off homer and a hit-for-the-cycle in MLB history.

  3. nats2005 - May 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Of all the one line discussions about a MLB team, that has to be the worst summation of the Nationals I have ever seen.

    Not even a discussion regarding the ML club.

    This isn’t the minor league Power Rankings.

    +1 from 222. At least reference a ML player.

  4. npb99 - May 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Some of these summaries make me scratch my head. The Braves “should have the best-hitting outfield in baseball…” Really? The Upton brothers and Heyward should be better hitters than the outfielders of the Dodgers, Yankees, Rockies, Blue Jays, and, yes, the Nats?

    • Hiram Hover - May 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Or just Mike Trout by himself.

    • Steve - May 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Yes, I think so. Obviously B.J. and Heyward have been enormously disappointing for some time now, but that’s the point. The only outfield of comparable potential from among that list is that of the Dodgers, but even there, Crawford and Ethier are both 32 and clearly past their prime. When Atlanta assembled this outfield before last season, they thought they were piecing together three elite talents in the midst of, or entering, their physical primes. In terms of collective potential amongst the three starters, I believe Atlanta to be unmatched.

  5. DaveB - May 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    As long as we are all beating on these write-ups, the title also seems kind of odd for this week, given that they dropped the Rockies from 5th to 6th.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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