2015 MLB Power Rankings Week 16
MLB Power Ranks
I can't believe it's been a month since my last rankings came out. That can be explained by a long personal vacation coupled with the fact that I was out of the loop when I came back home. But no longer! I am all caught up as the Hot Stove is reaching its boiling point. Enough about me though. You've waiting patiently long enough for some rankings so let's go.
*Note ~ As always all stats and records are through Sunday's games
*Double Note ~ Since it has been so long since my last ranking I will not list the last week's ranking after each team. That will return next week.
1. St. Louis Cardinals (63-35) ~ The Cards continue to chug along with the best record in baseball and they added some bullpen help last week by acquiring former Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek who will help set-up for All-Star closer Trevor Rosenthal. As usual it's good to be a Cardinals player and/or fan.
2. Kansas City Royals (59-38) ~ All season the Royals' rotation seemed to lack an ace pitcher. That is no longer the case as they have made the biggest move so far as the trade deadline looms by acquiring Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds. Since 2011 Cueto has a 2.51 ERA which is second in all of baseball behind some guy named Clayton Kershaw. KC is going for it after last year's surprise run to the World Series.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-44) ~ It had to end sometime. Zack Greinke's scoreless innings streak came to an end Sunday at 45 2/3 innings which was good for sixth-best all time. His teammate, that Kershaw guy, is working on his own scoreless streak with is currently at 29 innings. They aren't a bad 1-2 combo at the top of the rotation.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (57-41) ~ After spending the first five and a half years of his career in Pittsburgh third baseman Aramis Ramirez has returned to the club via trade. The Pirates are hoping he can help out an infield that is dealing with injuries to Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer. Who says you can't go home again?
5. Houston Astros (55-45) ~ Before the Royals acquired Cueto it was the Astros who went out and got themselves some starting rotation help by adding Scott Kazmir from Oakland. All he did was throw seven scoreless innings in his debut.
6. Los Angeles Angels (55-43) ~ Albert Pujols swiped his 100th career base over the weekend which puts him in a rather exclusive club. He joins Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to have at least 500 home runs, 100 stolen bases and a .300 batting average for their careers. The summer of Albert marches on.
7. New York Yankees (55-42) ~ Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs in one game Saturday for the fifth time in his career. He is on pace for his first 30-homer season since 2010. There may be a Comeback Player of the Year award in his future.
8. San Francisco Giants (54-44) ~ Madison Bumgarner hit his third home run of the season over the weekend making him the first Giants pitcher since Johnny Antonelli in 1955-1957 to have back-to-back seasons of at least three home runs. Oh, and he's not too shabby on the mound either.
9. Chicago Cubs (51-46) ~ The Chicago Cubs were no-hit for the first time since 1965 by Cole Hamels over the weekend. That ended the current longest streak in the bigs without being no-hit at 7,931 games. The pitcher in that game back in 65'? Sandy Koufax.
10. Washington Nationals (52-45) ~ Anthony Rendon was activated from the disabled list and Stephen Strasburg is ready to begin a rehab assignment. Oh, and Jayson Werth is close to returning to the lineup as well. Reinforcements are coming for a Nationals team that has thus far underperformed preseason expectations.
11. New York Mets (51-48) ~ Adding veteran players Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson may not have been the flashiest of moves but it certainly improves a struggling Met offense. Look for them to make one more move before Friday's deadline.
12. Minnesota Twins (52-46) ~ The Twins continue to hang in the American League Central and Wild Card race after not posting a winning record since 2010. While I still believe they will fade it's been a pleasant ride for Twins fans this season.
13. Toronto Blue Jays (50-50) ~ Toronto needs to add starting pitching if they are going to snap the longest playoff drought in the bigs. Their offense can only carry them so far.
14. Baltimore Orioles (48-49) ~ Buy or sell? That has to be the big question for Baltimore. The Yankees have started to pull away from the pack in the division and the O's may not have enough to catch them. Could we see the last of Matt Wieters in an Oriole uniform?
15. Detroit Tigers (48-50) ~ Buy or sell isn't the question that faces Detroit. Sell is the clear option and with impending free agents David Price and Yoenis Cespedes the Tigers have some attractive trade chips that should net them some help for their barren farm system.
16. Tampa Bay Rays (49-51) ~ The Rays have exceeded everyone's expectations so far this season and may sell off some pieces to try and upgrade a woeful offense that ranks in the bottom third in the baseball in almost every major category.
17. Texas Rangers (47-50) ~ Rumor has it that the Rangers are interested in acquiring Hamels from Philadelphia. Rumor also has it that starter Yovani Gallardo is on the block. Possibly adding a pitcher while also possibly selling off a pitcher? I'm not sure I understand the logic behind this.
18. San Diego Padres (47-52) ~ After the offseason the Padres had nobody expected them to be sellers at the deadline. But here we are. Outfielder Justin Upton is the piece most likely to move but they could try and clean house. A lot of experts had the Padres competing for a playoff berth. Sometimes things just don't work out.
19. Atlanta Braves (46-52) ~ First baseman Freddie Freeman has returned to the lineup after being on the disabled list since June 17th with a bone bruise and aggravated ligaments in his wrist. He has been the Braves' best hitter by far and his activation was probably sped up a few days with the recent trade of Johnson and Uribe.
20. Chicago White Sox (46-50) ~ The ChiSox picked up their first four-game sweep in Cleveland since 2005 while outscoring the Indians 26-5 and not trailing at all during the series. That was a mouthful.
21. Cleveland Indians (45-52) ~ After the sweep at the hands of the rival White Sox Indians players Jason Kipnis and Danny Salazer ripped the team's efforts. Maybe that will light a fire or maybe that will hurt the club. Either way they needed some kind of spark after laying that egg at home and falling into last place in the AL Central.
22. Seattle Mariners (46-53) ~ Look! Look! A Robinson Cano sighting! That must be what Mariners fans are thinking as their stud 2nd baseman has finally woken up in July. After a putrid start to the season Cano is slashing .337/.384/.609. It may be too little too late, however, as the M's sit nine-and-a-half back in the AL West.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks (46-51) ~ While it should be clear to Arizona that they should be sellers at the deadline rumor has it that they are asking for a large package to move closer Brad Ziegler. Because, you know, it's important for them to hold on to a 35-year-old relief pitcher who is slated to become a free agent after the season.
24. Oakland A's (44-56) ~ After trading Kazmir last week the A's will be looking to move infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist and closer Tyler Clippard this week as both are impending free agents. It looks like the A's will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
25. Boston Red Sox (44-55) ~ Dustin Pedroia is back on the disabled list with as he is still dealing with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss 16 games prior to the All-Star break. With the way Boston's season is going it might be wise to simply shut him down and let him rest.
26. Cincinnati Reds (43-53) ~ They've already dealt their staff ace in Cueto and stud closer Aroldis Chapman may also be shown the door. The times they are a changin in Cincy.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (43-56) ~ Another team that could look a lot different by the end of the week if things go right. The Brewers are shopping Adam Lind, Carlos Gomez and Francisco Rodriguez.
28. Colorado Rockies (42-54) ~ Will this be the season the Rockies finally trade stud shortstop Troy Tulowitzki? They aren't anywhere near contending and Tulo is owed another $100 million. It would be wise for this downtrodden franchise to finally say goodbye to the face of their club.
29. Miami Marlins (41-58) ~ It seems to be that time of year for the annual Marlins fire sale. I wonder how Giancarlo Stanton feels about this season and the next dozen.
30. Philadelphia Phillies (37-63) ~ If Hamels is traded he gave Phillies fans one hell of a sendoff with his first career solo no-hitter. He started a game last September in which the Phillies threw a combined no-hitter against the Braves.