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MLB Power Rankings: NL East heating up

Jun 29, 2014, 2:02 PM EST

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. Athletics (LW: 1) — Roney: Sean Doolittle is the latest Baseball’s Unhittable Closer. Still wondering why Beane went out and got Jim Johnson.

2. Brewers (LW: 3)  — Hughes: They can certainly hit, but it might be wise to add a starting pitcher before the deadline.

3. Giants (LW: 2) — Roney: A second no-hitter for Lincecum against the Padres. Funny that his no-nos have come well after his dominant years passed.

4. Dodgers (LW: 6) — Roney: Adrien Gonzalez, where does the power go? He looked like his old self in April, but the dingers have  been sporadic since.

5. Blue Jays (LW: 4) — Zuckerman: Lineup has been fantastic. Now you start wondering if they make a move to bolster their pitching staff in the next few weeks.

6. Tigers (LW: 10) — Hughes: The Astros may be kicking themselves for giving up on J.D. Martinez. The 26-year-old has nine homers, 32 RBI and a .957 OPS through 41 games for the Tigers.

7. Nationals (LW: 9) — Zuckerman: Can Matt Williams play 9 guys in 8 spots, keep everybody happy and keep winning? We’re about to find out.

8. Angels (LW: 7) — Roney: Speaking of closers, the Halos just went out and got Jason Grilli. Yawn.

9. Cardinals (LW: 8) — Hughes: Pete Kozma got DFA’d this week. I’m sure Nats fans weren’t too upset about that news.

10. Orioles (LW: 14) — Zuckerman: Davis, Jones, Markakis, Hardy, Cruz, Machado. And Steve Pearce is outproducing almost all of them. Crazy.

11. Braves (LW: 12) — Zuckerman: Is there any way to interpret B.J. Upton hitting leadoff as a good thing from the Braves’ perspective? No.

12. Reds (LW: 17) — Hughes: Votto is hitting .260, yet has a .402 OBP. Weird.

13. Royals (LW: 5) — Hughes: Kansas City’s starting rotation was among MLB’s best in June, will it be enough to carry them to the playoffs?

14. Mariners  (LW: 15) — Roney: Taijuan Walker is close to making his season debut — that’s a huge shot in the arm for their rotation.

15. Pirates (LW: 19) — Hughes: The Pirates are fourth in their division, yet have a winning record. The NL Central is just brutal.

16. Yankees (LW: 11) — Zuckerman: Breaking news: Derek Jeter is 40! More on this story as it develops.

17. Marlins (LW: 13) — Zuckerman: Have done an admirable job hanging around, but they’re starting to slip.

18. Indians (LW: 16) — Hughes: Former third overall pick Trevor Bauer now has a career 4.88 ERA through parts of three seasons. Not good.

19. Phillies (LW: 24)  — Zuckerman: Gonna be a long summer at Citizens Bank Park.

20. Rockies (LW: 21)  — Roney: If I’m a Rockies fan, I’m mortified that Tulowitzki is captaining at the Home Run Derby. The Derby is a notorious power drain for the second half.

21. Twins (LW: 23) — Hughes: For as well as Phil Hughes has worked out for the Twins, Ricky Nolasco has been a complete disaster.

22. Mets (LW: 26) — Zuckerman: They actually have a positive run differential. Something’s not adding up in Flushing.

23. White Sox (LW: 20) — Hughes: Chicago has Chris Sale and Jose Abreu, but that’s about it.

24. Red Sox (LW: 22) — Zuckerman: Boston’s outfielders have a collective .640 OPS. That’s pretty pathetic.

25. Rangers (LW: 18) — Roney: For all of their recent top prospects, they have little to show for it on the field right now.

26. Astros (LW: 25) — Roney: They’re an Appel away from having an incredibly bright future — hopefully the big fireballer can put it together.

27. Cubs (LW: 27) — Hughes: Chicago has Jeff Samarzija, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but that’s about it.

28. Padres (LW: 28) — Roney: Who’s the best fit to run the front office? Many good internal candidates — my pick from those would be Omar Minaya.

29. Diamondbacks (LW: 29) — Roney: How long until Tony LaRussa gives Kirk Gibson the Kirk Gibson treatment, and boots him (in part) for his personality?

30. Rays (LW: 30) — Zuckerman: A shame they’re going to trade David Price, but at this point they really have no choice.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    #1 You better check Sean Doolittle’s record again. Blew one last night.

  2. sjberke - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Omar Minaya for the Padres? Really? After the disasters he inflicted on first the Expos (helping create the mess inherited by the Nats) and then the Mets? Mr. Roney needs to review his recent history.

  3. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Who remembers when a substantial percentage of the posters on this blog were willing to shoot the moon to trade for Trevor Bauer?

    • natsfan1a - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Heck, I wouldn’t have shot the moon to trade for *Jack* Bauer (though the dude does have some skllls), but then I don’t do armchair GM anyway. :-)

  4. David Proctor - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Maybe we gave up on Fernando Abad too early. He’s been brilliant for Oakland

    • therealjohnc - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      Trying to predict bullpen guys is a very difficult art – particularly middle relievers. One season great, next season terrible, and vice versa.

  5. Section 222 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Votto has a ridiculously high OBP. What’s weird about that? Dude can take a walk with the best of them.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Exactly. Several Nats might even learn something from him.

  6. Section 222 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Why would anyone hire Omar Minaya as a GM again.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Because he’s a ‘lifer’ and the lifers look out for each other?

  7. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Listening to Reds-Giants, the Giants announcers think Votto is still hurt (he was on the DL for a quad or something a while back). They said he’s a “shell” of himself–but he can still take a walk.

  8. NatsLady - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Attendance is down (not as much as the Phillies, which is a disaster) but down about 2500/game. May be partly due to not having Harper as a draw… And of course 2013 got the “bump” in season tickets from 2012, which I assume means 2014 had a reversal.

    • David Proctor - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      I don’t read much into the attendance numbers until the season is over, because things are different. Different teams at different times, different weather situations, etc. Plus, two guaranteed sellouts haven’t happened yet (the Oriole series) when it had happened at this time in 2013.

      • NatsLady - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        Good point on the O’s series.

      • Steady Eddie - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Also, school was just letting out at the end of the last homestand, and attendance routinely goes up at that point. The Atlanta series drew almost 150 K versus ~30K@ for the crucial early August series last year that basically put paid to our title hopes.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      And the bad weather early didn’t help.





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