Major League Baseball Power Rankings Week 2 (4/16/2012)

Last week’s power rankings saw some interesting names in places we didn’t expect.But  have no fear baseball “experts” (myself included), as the season is kicking into high gear some of the ball clubs we thought would heat up (I see you Braves, Yankees and Diamondbacks) are moving along. Some, on the other hand, are going in the direction we envisioned even before opening day (sorry Orioles, Mariners and Astros). Surprises still remain, however. With that we get right to it!

  1. Texas Rangers- Is it too early for Ron Washington to be considered Manager of the Year in the American League? Say what you will about his roster, not many can sustain losses to their closest rival acquiring their Ace, and the best player in baseball and still look like World Series favorites
  2. St. Louis Cardinals- Am I being obnoxious with the early Manager of the Year award thing? Just saying, this team lost their co-Ace and the best player in the league and are poised to run away with this division.
  3. Detroit Tigers- Tigers have fallen a couple of spots this week. A bullpen giving up runs like candy during Halloween will do that. Valverde, Benoit, and Schlereth all have ERA’s north of 4.50.
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers- Loving what Los Angeles is doing right now. Matt Kemp is setting his sights on a bigger season than ’11 and the pitching has been solid. Kudos to Aaron Harang for setting club record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with nine.
  5. Washington Nationals- Beltway travelers, this isn’t a typo. Your Washington Nationals are playing legitimate baseball. Their pitching isn’t giving up anything and if this continues we might be looking at a team primed to stay near the top for a while.
  6. Arizona Diamondbacks- The good news: Chris Young is hitting .364 and has cut down on the strikeouts significantly. Bad news: Daniel Hudson and Wade Miley are still two of the top five hitters on this team. Pitching is coming together but without contributions from the rest of the lineup could lose ground early to Los Angeles.
  7. New York Mets- David Wright is back and taking full advantage of the new dimensions at Citi Field. It isn’t all feet and angles for Wright (.571 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI) who is pasting the ball. Nagging injuries appear to be the only thing slowing him down so far in 2012. Bad news is the guys who are supposed to be helping him look terrible. Jason Bay (.185 BA, 3 RBI) and Ike Davis (.125 BA, 1 HR) aren’t doing much to instill confidence.
  8. Atlanta Braves- If Chipper Jones keeps this up (.417 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI) he might be coaxed into one more year. Braves have five-game winning streak heading into Monday series against the Mets in Atlanta. Jason Heyward seems to have found his happy place with his new swing (.345 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI) and the pitching is as solid as always. Now if they would just win convincingly enough to give that super trio in their bullpen a breather.
  9. Toronto Blue Jays- With half their lineup hitting .270 or lower, their pitching will have to do some amazing things to keep them afloat early. Kyle Drabek seems up to it (2-0, 1.42 ERA).
  10. New York Yankees- Don’t look now, but the Yankees are making a climb up the East standings. Hitting is the name of the game in the Bronx but a huge shout goes to their bullpen. Without said bullpen, their starters would have a hard time showing their faces around town.
  11. Chicago White Sox- Anyone else hear that? That’s the sound of a Chicago White Sox team taking on the identity of its manager. Good thing he doesn’t say much because Robin Ventura seems to have his team headed in the right direction. Quietly if I might add.
  12. Tampa Bay Rays- Lot of issues with this team starting with their pitching. Rays need to pitch in order to be competitive because their offense not loaded enough to allow chances to slip away. Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Moore and Ace David Price are biggest concerns thus far.
  13. Philadelphia Phillies- Phillies starting to put it together on both sides of the ball. Rollins (.351 BA), Pence (.314 BA, 1 HR) and Victorino (.294 BA, 4 steals) leading the way until possible May return of Ryan Howard.
  14. Boston Red Sox- Why are people shocked Bobby Valentine is saying crazy things? I say we focus on real news, like Jacoby Ellsbury taking his five-tool talent to the disabled list for an extended period of time and leaving a hole in center the size of Boston. Although until they figure out their pitching issues Boston may be relegated to spectators again come playoff time.
  15. Miami Marlins- Manager says something stupid, Logan Morrison still can’t play defense, sluggers aren’t slugging and I’m pretty sure the object of the game isn’t to give up as many runs as possible. Any bets on how long it will take the fans to realize that even in a shiny new toy box you can’t shine  up third place parts?
  16. Seattle Mariners-
  17. Milwaukee Brewers- Swept by Atlanta, the Brewers have lost four straight and now face the red-hot Dodgers. Pitching looks dreadful, and their bullpen is struggling to hold games close. Not promising in Milwaukee.
  18. Los Angeles Angels- Pitching, surprisingly, is making this a fast sinking ship. Haren and Santana still look lost on the mound and their bullpen doesn’t look like anyone knows what they’re doing.
  19. San Francisco Giants- Bullpen took a hit with the loss of closer Brian Wilson. Team built on pitching having pitching as major culprit to their struggles isn’t a good look.
  20. Cleveland Indians- Derek Lowe is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA so far this season. Wow.
  21. Cincinnati Reds- The Reds have spent $348 million dollars on offense the last year. This past week they scored ten runs.
  22. Oakland Athletics- Yoenis Cespedes is the front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award. I must say Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 2.50 ERA) seems to be figuring this pitching thing out.
  23. Colorado Rockies- Shut down by Barry Zito opening day and their rotation isn’t helping matters. If starters can catch up with the rest of the team they may be more of a factor.
  24. Kansas City Royals- All the offense in the world can’t cover-up pitching woes.
  25. Houston Astros- Not much to see here, folks. Although I must say J.D. Martinez looks like a fine young ballplayer (3 HR, 10 RBI, .371 BA). Fantasy hawks strike quickly.
  26. Pittsburgh Pirates- Probably the most confusing team on this list. Either timely hitting, or pitching out of big spots is their issue to this point.
  27. Chicago Cubs- Well you’ll always have Wrigley, Cubs fans.
  28. Minnesota Twins- Mauer and Morneau are back and appear healthy. Rotation still the main question mark with their closer Matt Capps (6.00) and their top starter Francisco Liriano (10.00 ERA) struggling.
  29. San Diego Padres- Two of, what I believe to be, the best managers in baseball reside at the bottom of this list in Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire and the Padres’ Bud Black. Black has one of the games best pitching minds, now if he could just get an offense to supplement it.
  30. Baltimore Orioles- 3-0 start has become a 5-4 start. I am steadfast in my belief of this team. Do love what you’ve done with Camden Yards though!

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