JAKE ROBINSON BASEBALL POWER RANKINGS: June 8th- 14th
THE TOP 15
- Philadelphia Phillies: 40-26 (last week rank #1): This team is a little frustrating in that they still have not played their best baseball. The offense has been stagnant at times, and the club could use a right handed stick, with pop. Like most veteran teams, almost all of the team's positions are locked up, with the exception of maybe Right Field. The Phils are intent on giving Dominic Brown a look, so even right field isn't open. The pitching has been outstanding. They are second in the N.L with a 3.15 ERA. The rotation is ranked number one with a 3.20 ERA and the bullpen is is fourth with a 3.02 ERA.
- Boston Red Sox 39-26 (5): God help the American League, because this lineup looks unstoppable, barring injuries. Finally, the offense is coming together. Jacoby Ellsbury won Player of the Week honors, batting .467 with 3 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBI and 10 runs. This is the third straight week that a Boston player has won the award, with Carl Crawford and David Ortiz winning the previous two. Gonzalez appears to hit bombs every night. Crawford and " Laser Show" Dustin Pedroia are on 7 and 9 game hitting streaks respectively. Even Jason Veritek is starting to hit. Jon Lester has been awesome since taking a weeks rest. The southpaw went 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in two starts this week.
- St. Louis Cardinals 38-29 (2): Albert Pujols remains to be strong, at one point having a 9 game hit streak that ran through the week. Matt Holliday is due to be back this week, from the D.L, which will add more punch to the lineup. Right handed pitcher Jake Westbrook hasn't completed the sixth inning, in his last four starts. The Cards suffered a sweep at the hands of the Brewers over the weekend, and it was the first time since May 13-15 against the Reds. After that sweep in May, the Red Birds went onto win 8 of their next 10 games and hope to repeat that feat this week. The Cardinals' consistently have one of the better front offices, and signed 27 of the players they drafted last week.
- Milwaukee Brewers 38-29 (9): The Brew Crew continues to be one of the hotter teams in the majors, winning 8 of their last 10 games. Prince Fielder won the National League Player of the Week batting .500 with 6 HR, a 1.500 slugging percentage, .643 OBP with 30 total bases and 13 RBI. It is the second time Fielder has won the honor as well as Player of the Month in April. He continues to pound the ball, and has hit home runs in 8 of the past 10 games, which happens to coincide with the teams winning ways. Shawn Marcum has been a dominant N.L starter, and Zack Grienke went 2-0 sporting a 3.21 ERA, with 15 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched this week.
- Atlanta Braves 38-29 (11): The strong pitching tradition of the Braves, remains true. Jair Jurrens (8-3 1.82) is the only pitcher in the majors with an ERA under 2.00. The Dutch hurler has limited his opponents to less than 2 earned runs in 10 of 11 starts. Tommie Hanson is emerging into the talent everyone knew he was. Batters are only hitting .189 against him, and the youngstar has been stingy, giving up only 56 hits all season. Derrick Lowe's last six starts have been no decisions, that the Braves have still won.
- San Francisco Giants 37-29 (7): The Injury riddled Giants will be happy to welcome back "Kung Fu Panda" Pablo Sandoval back from his broken wrist injury this week, He was leading San Francisco in hitting with .313 AVG., .374 OBP and a .530 SLG%. Manger, Bruce Bochy will have to make a decision on what to do with Miguel Tejada, who has played third in Panda's absence. The team seems pleased with rookie Brandon Crawford at shortstop. Tejada and Crawford may form a platoon at the middle infield position. Barry Zito is completing his rehab stint at AAA Fresno. The team has had 12 players on the D.L this year, after having only 13 all of last year.
- Texas Rangers 36-31 (6): The Rangers have stumbled a bit this week, losing 5 of their last 7 games, including dropping 3 of 4 to the Twins over the weekend. Even through the slump, they still maintain control in the A.L West with a 2 game lead over Seattle. Alex Ogando continues to dominate with a scintillating 7-0 record to go along with a sexy 2.10 ERA in the American League. Manager Ron Washington recently benched Elvis Andrus for sloppy play during the Twins series. Both player and manager have put it behind them, and seem eager to move on.
- New York Yankees 36-28 (3): Pitchers are falling like leaves in the desert for the Evil Empire. Phil Hughes is eager for a return back to the rotation, and has begun his rehab assignment, after experiencing shoulder inflammation back on April 15th. His fastball was clocked at 93 mph last week. Currently Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Rafael Soriano, Bartolo Colon as well as Hughes are on the D.L. Catcher, Russell Martin is day to day with back ailments. Maybe Posada can get out of manager Joe Girardi's doghouse. He is batting .345 since requesting out of the lineup on May 14th. Derek Jeter is 6 hits away from 3,000, but will spend the next 15 days on the D.L with a strained calf.
- Detroit Tigers 36-30 (13): Since May 3rd, the Tigers have gone 24-3 and are 7-3 in their last ten games. They have the second best record to the Red Sox in that 27 game stretch, taking advantage of the slipping Indians. Magglio Ordonez is back from the D.L after having surgery on his right ankle. His presence should be a boost to Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Brendan Boesch's production. Boesch has been torrid in June, batting .439 for the month. Austin Jackson is on pace to strike out 182 times this year.
- Arizona Diamonbacks 37-30 (8): The Snakes only won 25 games on the road all year in 2010. Their road record stands at 16-17 so far. They were able to take 3 of 4 from the Florida Marlins this past week and have played this last tough road trip, to the tune of a 4-3 record. Rookie Josh Collimente in 13 appearences is 4-1 with a 1.12 ERA. Batters are hitting a pedestrian .163 off of the over hand right handed shooter.
- Tampa Bay Rays 35-31 (12): Johnny Damon has been inserted into the leadoff spot and the offense seems to be better because of it. Damon, has batted .333 (15 for 24) since taking over the lineup position. He just broke Ben Grieve's team record of 37 straight games, getting on base for the 38th consecutive time on Monday versus the Tigers. The hot streak has had a trickle down effect on Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Casey Kotchman, who have seen their production rise since Manager Joe Maddon made the move. The team is coping with a stomach virus that is spreading throughout the locker room.
- Cincinnati Reds: 35-33 (14): The Reds are 14th in the N.L in pitching with a 4.23 ERA. However, in their last 8 games Reds Hurlers are 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA. The bullpen is ranked number one, but Reds relievers lead the National League in Walks. Arnoldis Chapman has looked brutal, during his rehab stint AAA Louisville. Scott Rolen is day to day with a sore left foot.
- Cleveland Indians 35-29 (4): The Tribe is 4-14 in their last 18 games, and the offense has literally shut down. In the last three games the Indians have scored 2 runs total. During the 18 game stretch they have averaged 2.9 runs a game. They have batted .229 with a .623 OPS and a 113-52 run differential.. Travis Hafner can not come back from the disabled list soon enough from his injured oblique. He is now making his rehab run through AA Akron. Grady Sizemore has been moved back to the leadoff spot. Asdrubel Cabrera is hitting .426 with runners in scoring position, to go along with his .301 average and 12 big knocks.
- Seattle Mariners 34-33 (15): David Pauley has been the most dominant relief pitcher in the bigs and is probably going to get consideration for the All-Star team. in 37 1/3 innings pitched he sports an ungodly 0.96 ERA. Closer David Aardsma, who is recovering from hip problems and ligament damage in his pitching elbow is playing catch at 60 feet on a level ground. Behind their bullpen, the M's have outscored their opponents 15-8 from the eighth inning on. Miguel Olivo has 10 HR's which is tied for the A.L lead amongst catchers, with Toronto's J.P Arenciba and Rangers' Mike Napoli.
- Florida Marlins 32-33 (10): The Fish have lost 10 of their last 11 games, and have fallen hard after injuries to Ace pitcher Josh Johson and SS Hanley Ramirez. The pitching, which has been the rock for this team has been suspect over the last two weeks. It is the first time the team has been under .500, since April 3rd. Mike Stanton has hit 38 Home runs in his first 160 games. Only 7 hitters have clubbed more in that span. Rudy York (54), Mark McGwire (49), Ryan Braun (47), Ryan Howard (43), Bob Horner (42), Tony Clark (40) and Frank Robinson (39).
THE SECOND TIER
16. Chicago White Sox 33-35 (19): The Palehosers have gone 8-4 in their last 12 games, as Ozzie Guillen has struggled to find an everyday batting order for his oft injured and inconsistent team, using 47 different lineups in 67 games. Alex Rios may be turning the corner. clubbing his way to .348 in June. The White Sox have more homers than anyone in the past month, led by Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko with 16 and 17 respectively. SS Omar Vizquel just passed George Brett for 17th all time with career at bat number 10,351.
17. Toronto BlueJays 32-34 (17): " Joey Bats" Jose Bautista snapped a 13 game homerless streak by mashing one on Sunday, versus Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox. During the streak, he was still productive hitting .313 (15-48). Adam Lind, has been making the transition from DH to First Base after missing 24 games to lower back spasms. The team is 4-6 in their last 10 and have lost 4 in a row.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates 32-33 (18): The Bucs are in dire need of help at the catchers position, after losing Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder to injuries. The Pirates brass is hopeful Dewey's left ankle is healing well, and can be ready to return by July. They made a trade for Red Sox catcher Michael McKenry to hold them over at the thin position. PNC Park has drawn over 660,000 fans this year which is about about a 1oo grand more than last season at this time.
19. New York Mets 32-34 (20):Jose Reyes is killing in his contract season. His 94 hits and .341 AVG is the best in the majors as well as 11 triples. His power stroke appears to back, as he hit 2 homers in his last 4 games. The Mets have ridden Reyes' coat tails to victories in 7 of their last 10 games, including the last three series from the Braves, the Brewers and the Pirates. David Wright is still 2 weeks away.
20. Colorado Rockies 31-35 (21): Ty Wiggington has been solid with the bat hitting .284 with 4 HR's since the Rockies demoted Ian Stewart to AAA colorado Springs on May 4th. However his defense has been very suspect though and cost the Rox two games against the Dodgers over the weekend. Jim Tracy called a team meeting Thursday to instill some urgency in the sometimes lethargic team.
21. Los Angeles Angels 32-36 (16): The Halos have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Angels are amongst the worst hitting team in the majors in almost every statistical category. Hopefully Vernon Wells is starting to break out of his season long slump, going 6 for his last 15 with 5 runs scored. Jared Weaver continues to stymie on the mound, but isn't showing the results in his numbers. In his last 8 starts he has gone 1-4, while giving up a total of 10 runs and holding the opposition to a .219 AVG. He is 7-4 with a 2.24 ERA which is third in the majors.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers 31-37 (22): The team may not make payroll this month because of their extravagant price tag they are still paying for Manny Ramierez. Bud Selig is waiting in the wings to take the Franchise from Frank McCourt in this event. Matt Kemp who already had a 30 game hit streak is now in the midst of a 7 game streak. In that span he is hitting .478 with 8 R, 3 2B, 4 bombs and 8 RBI, He leads the N.L with 20 homers. Kenley Jensen and Hong Chih Kuo are set to return to the dilapidated bullpen.
23. Baltimore Orioles 30-33 (23): The Orioles are beginning to explore options toward re-signing free agent pickup JJ Hardy. He has been a pleasant surprise, hitting safely in 19 of his past 20 games. He has been inserted into the leadoffspot in Brian Robert's absence with a concussion, Out of the lead stick hole, Hardy is batting .375 with 2 HR. He hat yet to commit an error. Last year the SS position was dreadful for the O's. Led by Caesr Izturis they were able to generate a .236 AVG., .277 OBP and 1 homerun. At the SS position they were last in slugging with .272, .549 OBPS and 31 RBI's. Robert's is still a week away. Orioles Hall Of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson was released from the hospital for fever and infection. He is apparently, doing well.
24. Washington Nationals 30-36 (27): The Nats have gone 7-5 in June despite battling through injuries, 3B Ryan Zimmerman is set to return this week, from a 5 week stint on the D.L for an Abdominal tear. The Yanks have offered Jonathan Abaladejo for Tyler Clippard. The Bombers originally traded Clippard to the Nationals, and since then the right hander has gone 16-10 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
25. San Diego Padres 30-38 (25): Center fielder Camron Maybin and 2B Orland Hudson are set to return from the 15 day D.L, and Pitcher Aaron Harang is set to go on it with a right foot contusion. Wade Leblanc has been re promoted to the big show after his stint in AAA Tuscon, and looks to stick, Ryan Ludwickis batting .417 in his last 12 games with 3 HR's and 16 RBI. He has 6 multi-hit games in his last 12 road contest. After an April which saw him hit .204, he has rebounded hitting .314 in May and.308 in June.
26. Kansas City Royals 29-37 (26): The Royals will gladly welcome pitchers Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies back into the fold this week. The teams precipitous fall has coincided with losing these two pitchers. Rookies Mike Moustakis and Eric Hosmer look to be cornerstones to the clubs future. Moustakis went 3 for 10 vs. the Angels in his debut series, and Hosmer is holding it down with a .284 AVG, 5 HR, 21 RBI in 35 games.
27. Oakland A's 28-39 (24): After being swept by the Baltimore Orioles, management had no choice, but to fire manager Bob Geren and replaced him with Bob Melvin. Their 1-10 record in June is the lowest winning percentage in the American League.
28. Minnesota Twins 26-39 (28): The Twinkies have gone 9-2 in their last 11 games. They have amazingly played 40 games on the road and only 24 at home. Jim thome and Joe Maur have begun rehab this week and are due back with the next couple of weeks. Justin Morneau is returning to D.L with a sore hand.
29. Chicago Cubs 26-39 (28): Kerry Wood has been placed on the 15 day D.L due to blister on the fingers of his pitching hand.. Jeff Samarddzjia is the right hand set up man for now. Reed Johnson,who is in AAA Toledo rehabbing for his return took a pitch in the face and has a black eye and a shattered helmet to show for it. Johnson proclaimed himself to be alright.
30. Houston Astros 25-42 (30): This team continues to struggle even though Hunter Pence is in the midst of a 23 game hitting streak. The Strohs have fired Pitching Coach Brad Arnsberg and given the job with an interim tag to former Astros pitcher Doug Brocail. Ace, Wandy Rodriguez is back from the D.L, which should make Brocail's job a little easier. Rodriguez by far is their most complete pitcher and hopefully he can stabilize a beleaguered staff.
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