JAKE ROBINSON BASEBALL POWER RANKINGS... May 24-May 30
1. Philadelphia Phillies 34-20 ( Last week Rank:2): OF prospect Dominic Green has played well during Shane Victorino's stint on the disabled list, However the Flyin Hawaiian, Has begun his rehab in single A game on Saturday, and should be due back within a week or two. The bullpen has been just as good, if not better than the rotation. The Phils have not lost a game that they have led after the eighth inning this year. Ryan Madson is 12 for 12 in save situations.
2. CLEVELAND INDIANS 31-20 (1): The Tribe had their first shaky week, going 6-4 in their last ten games. However, it wasn't too bad when you consider that in a 6 game stretch this week they faced Clay Buckholtz, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, David Price, James Shield and Jeremy Hellickson. Combine that with the fact that the second place Tigers could not capitalize, and The Indians remain in the drivers seat. That 11-11 record on the road must improve.
3. FLORIDA MARLINS 30-21 (3): The image of the team took some hits this week when Scott Cousins knocked Giants catcher Buster Posey out for the season with a torn ankle ligament. It was a clean baseball play and Cousins was visibly moved. Ace Josh Johson, is set to return June 1st from a dead arm. 1B Gabby Sanchez continues to rake. OF Logan Morrison at last count had an on base streak at 30 games. Ricky Nolasco (4-1) suffered his first loss, Sunday in 11 starts. The Fish swept the Giants for the first time since 1995.
4. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 32-23 (4): The team has teamed up with MLB and the MLBPA to help the tornado victims of Joplin. Matt Holliday will miss some time with a strained oblique. They are going to need the wanna be thirty million dollar man Albert Pujols to get going. His average sit at .260, and he has never finished below .300 in his career. After doing some crunching of the numbers, Pujols is going to have to hit no less than .320 from here on out to keep pace with his usual numbers. It is amazing what this team has done without Wainright and with a mediocre Carpenter. Kyle Lohse (6-2 2.08) and Jaime Garcia have carried the staff (5-1).
5. BOSTON REDSOX 30-24 (9): Carl Crawford is finally beginning to heat up and now with a torrid Gonzalez, this lineup has prodigious balance and power. If Dustin Pedrioa puts the month of May behind him and returns to form, this team will be near unstoppable. David Ortiz hit his 300th home run in a Boston uniform, joining Ted Williams, Carl Yazstremski, Jim Rice and Dwight Evans as the only other players to do so. Due to injuries, the Sox have signed P Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal.
6. ATLANTA BRAVES 30-25 (8): P Jair Jurrjens hasn't given up more than 2 runs and 2 walks in his nine starts this season. His ERA sits at 1.51 and he has been downright filthy. He is the first starter since 1968 to accomplish this feat, joing Juan Marichal and Bill Hands. Dan Uggla's five year contract is becoming troublesome with the mercurial second basemen batting .189.
7. NEW YORK YANKEES 29-23 (10): The writing is on the wall for C Jorge Posada as the Yankees have indefinitely taken the future Hall of Fame catcher out of the lineup against lefthanders. Posada is now 0 for 25 against southpaws and it opens the door for a Cervelli/Martin platoon behind the dish. Curtis Granderson is still swinging the power stick, as is 1B Mark Texiera. 3B ARod is warming up. The Yanks had 74 homers through 50 games, their highest total since 2009, when they had 75 after 50. The Bombers are playing with a 2-1 run differential over their opponents. Derek Jeter is 19 hits from 3,000.
8. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS 29-24 (21): Don't look now, but the Snakes are the hottest team in baseball.They have won 15 of their last 17 games. After they took 3 of 4 from the Rocks, and swept the Astros. The D-Backs clobbered the Marlins 15-4 on Memorial Day, led by a 5 for 5 performance from Justin Upton. Upon P Zach Dukes return this week, Armando Galarragga has been demoted to the bullpen and Kam Mickolio has been designated for assignment in the minors.
9. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 29-24 (5): Offense has been the problem for this team for over a year now, and the loss of Posey doesn't help. The Giants have their fingers crossed that Pablo Sandoval can recover ahead of schedule from a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He was hot before the injury and Miguel Tejada has been awful offensively and defensively in his absenceThe team is last in the National League in runs with 177. Madison Bumgardner is the best six loss pitcher on the planet. He's also sporting a .211 batting average which is slightly lower than Huff and Tejada.
10. TEXAS RANGERS 29-25 (12): The Rangers and their inconsistent lineup gladly welcomed back OF's Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz back and they rewarded the defending American League champs with Homeruns in their first game against the White Sox. Their 6-16 record on the road is the worst in the majors. The team is being sued by scalper Michael Melendez, who tried to buy a block of 100 tickets for the Rangers-Yankees game on May 9th. The team prevented the entrepreneur from doing so, and are now going to court on charges of hurting the mans income. Wow!!
11. TAMPA BAY RAYS 28-25 (12): The scuffling Rays are 3-8 their last 11 games. The lineup, other than OF Matt Joyce and 1B Casey Kotchman has been inconsistent to put it nicely. Things have gotten so bad for 3B Evan Longoria that manager Joe Maddon inserted the power hitter in the lead off spot this past week. For the month of May, Longoria batted .200, 2B Ben Zobrist was at .176 and OF B.J Upton hit .143. However, rookie P Jeremy Hellickson was lights out witha 4-1 record and 1.36 to close out the month. The Rays have played in 52 consecutive games without committing multiple errors.
12. LOS ANGELES ANGELS 29-27 (11): P Scott Kazmir and OF Vernon Wells begin rehabbing their injuries and should both be back within the next two weeks. The Halos are the worst in the majors with 11 one run losses. A tight right hamstring will shelve 2B Howie Kendrick, who had been one of the teams better hitters all year. OF Kendry Morales had season ending surgery on his broken ankle. He will not return till the 2012 season.
13. MILWAUKEE BREWERS 29-25 (12): Other than the Snakes, the hottest team in the majors is the Brew Crew. They are 15-5 in their last 20 games. It would be best for this team too stay hot as long as possible, as May comes to a close. June kicks off with a murderous stretch of games versus the Reds, Marlins, Cards, Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees. After these games we should have a more definitive view of this team. P Shawn Marcum has been one of the most dominant N.L pitchers ( 6-0 2.10)
14. CINCINATTI REDS 28-27 (7): The Reds have been stumbling since the Indians series, going 1-6 on the last road trip. P Homer Bailey may go on the D.L after experiencing shoulder spasms in a recent game while batting. In his stead the Redlegs will promote young prospect P Chad Reineke. The phenom was blowing it up at AAA Louisville, with record of 5-2 and a 2.52 ERA. Arnoldis Chapman is due back from the D.L on Tuesday.
15. TORONTO BLUE JAYS 28-26 (14): The Jays are are waiting for 1B Adam Lind to return bask from the disabled list. 2B Aaron Hill has brought nothing to the lineup thus far and the offense is being fueled by OF Corey Patterson and OF Jose Bautista. Joey Bats hit the quietest 200 homers, faster than anybody, with his blast against the White Sox on Saturday. Trust me his next 200 will not be quiet.
16. Detroit Tigers 27-26 (16): The Tigers went 6-4 in the past 10 and have not been able to take advantage of the Indians trouble. 1B Miguel Cabrera, is smoking hot in those last ten games batting .310 and Jhonny Peralta is just as hot batting .304. The pitching outside of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer has been suspect all year. Verlander outdueled Beckett in the second game of a double header on Saturday. Verlander hit 100 MPH on his last pitch, number 132.
17. OAKLAND A'S 27-28 (18): The good new is the pitching has been phenomenal for the Athletics this season and their 2.78 ERA at home has kept the team in the A.L West race. The bad news is Their pitchers are dropping like flies. Dallas Braden is done for the year after shoulder surgery. Tyson Ross and Brandon McCarthy were both injured on the same day. However, Josh Outman was pitching well in AAA Sacramento, and will get another shot at the rotation. Closer Andrew Bailey came back Sunday, and the team will bring him along slowly.
18 COLORADO ROCKIES 25-27 (13): Since the Rocks started 11-2, they haven't won two games in a row, and are 1-4 in deciding rubber game matches. Ty Wiggington has taken the third base job, and barring injury will be there for a while, due to the horrible production from that position, OF Dexter Fowler appears to be breaking out and OF Ryan Spillborghs shed an April funk, with a 17 for 46 May, batting .362 with a .444 OBP.
19. PITTSBURGH PIRATES 24-28 (17): As the president of the Niel Walker Fan Club it is my pleasure to announce that the second basemen is tops in his position with 30 RBI's. The Bucs who had 15 road victories all last season, already have 17 under their belt. P Charlie Morton (5-2 2.61) and Kevin Correia have been rock solid, with no sight of them slowing down. Morton has given up more than two runs in only two starts this season. Andrew McCutcheon is 12 for his last 31 (.387) bringing his average up to .267.
20. SEATTLE MARINERS 27-26 (27):The Seattle Times must be bored with the baseball season. They have now resorted to ripping Ichiro and comparing his game to Miguel Olivo. Ichiro busted out of a 1 for 24 slump with a 2 for 4 effort against the Orioles. He is a career .367 hitter against the O's, so expect him to be hot for the next couple of days.The 1B Justin Smoak trade for P Cliff Lee, has worked out good for the M's, who are still smarting after the disasterous P Erik Bedard for OF Adam Jones and P Chris Tillman trade with Baltimore.
21. CHICAGO WHITE SOX 25-31 (24): OF Carlos Quentin has bruised knee and is day to day. White Sox reliever Jesse Crain has been the only dependable pitcher in the pen. Another week of Ozzie Guillen crazy rants and ejections from games. As an admirer of Guillen it is time to admit that his antics are a distraction on the team. It's almost like he is looking to get fired. Now he is attacking fan support? If you have the highest payroll in your division and your next to last, the problem is probably not your fan base.
22. BALTIMORE ORIOLES 24-28 (25): The Orioles have always struggled when 2B Brian Roberts has missed time with injuries. The O's are hoping the concussed second basemen can get it together. Matt Wieters has been one of the better defensive catchers in the A.L for the last year and a half, but now it appears his offense is coming around. The same old inconsistently consistent Orioles have emerged. After sweeping the Royals, they proceed to lose the next four to the A's and Mariners.
23. CHICAGO CUBS 23-29 (26): Cubs fans can thank their lucky stars that 1B Carlos Pena seems to have found his power stroke, and hopefully that will translate to a better average. Alfonso Soriano is batting .339 in his last 16 games but he is going to need some help. Chicago has been out homered by their opponents 25-14 at Wrigley Field this year. Sloppy weather has turned into sloppy defense by the Cubbies. P Matt Garza, missed a start but should be back this week. The Cubs are so desperate for pitching, they have traded for Rodrigo Lopez..
24. LOS ANGELES DODGERS 25-30 (23): The Dodger were able to take 2 of 3 from the Fish. However, more off the field drama surrounds this team. On Friday during the fifth inning of the Marlins game, a fire broke out in a storage area in the upper deck. Less than 24 hours the same fire reignited in the middle of the night. Both times the fire was contained, and the damage was minimal. The Dodger drew their 3 millionth fan on June 27th, the longest it has taken to do that since the 2008 season.
25. NEW YORK METS 25-28 (19): Another team that has suffered from off field distractions, as the Wilpon family has been force to sell a minority stake of the Mets to David Einhorn this week. David Wilpon in an interview, claimed that his 3B David Wright was not a superstar and that Jose Reyes will try to command a Carl Crawford like paycheck in the off season, but will not get it. It's a good thing the Mets are still paying superstar money to Bobby Bonilla who hasn't played for the team in 11 years.
26. KANSAS CITY ROYALS 23-30 (20); Since the loss of P Bruce Chen, and C Jason Kendall, the rotation has been ineffective and incompetent. Closer Joakim Soria blew his fifth save of the season, Monday night against the Angels, and has lost his job for the foreseeable future. Rookie Eric Hosmer is making a case for Rookie of the Year. P Nick Adcock, who was claimed from the rule 5 draft via the Pirates has been a pleasant surprise with a 1.65 ERA in nine appearances.
27. WASHINGTON NATIONALS 22-31 (22): The 7 year $126 million contract given to Jayson Werth is going to be disastrous for this club. Michael Morse has added puch to a toothless lineup which is at the bottom of the league in AVG. and OBP. (P) Livan Hernandez gets the fourth worst run support in the majors, behind Madison Bumgardner, Jeremy Guthrie and Paul Maholm., Teddy Roosevelt hasn't won a presidential race in 230 consecutive races around Nationals Park.
28. SAN DIEGO PADRES 23-31 (28): First the good news; The Friars are 14-7 in day games, which is first in the majors. Their pitching has been solid despite ace Mat Latos' awful start. They are currently fourth in the N.L behind the Braves, Phils, and Giants on the mound. However the lack of hitting is choking this team. They are last in AVG., doubles, and OBP. They are next to last in runs and home runs. Ryan Ludwick has been their sole bright spot in the lineup.
29. HOUSTON ASTROS 20-34 (29): 2B Jeff Keppinger returns from the D.L after left foot surgery gives the lineup much needed teeth. Bill Hall who was serviceable, filling in at second, will be relegated to fourth outfield platoon against right handed pitching. P Wandy Rodriguez has been outstanding in his last seven starts, with a 2.16 ERA and the Stros have won 5 of those 7 games.
30. MINNESOTA TWINS 17-35 (30): Justin Morneau's power numbers have disappeared since his concussion last year. Through Sunday, the former MVP has two bombs. Jason Kubel is the only every day player who has consistently hit all year. The Twinkies hope the return of Thome will help their struggling offense. The pitching hasn't been any better. They are last in strikeouts and fourth in Walks.
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