Patterson’s MLB Week 3 Power Rankings

With all that’s been going with the Celtics and Bruins this week, it was tough to keep track of what was going on the in the baseball world but I was able to do it.  In next week’s edition of the Power Rankings, I will have the player of the month and pitcher of the month.  For now, just take in the week three rankings.

1) Philadelphia Phillies  (1)

No surprise here as the Phillies sit a top the Power Rankings for the third straight week.  They are playing .700 baseball and have come as advertised this season.  Even 73-year-old Jose Contreras is contributing as the closer with Brad Lidge out.  The ageless one has 5 saves in 8 appearances with an ERA of 0.00.

2) Colorado Rockies (2)

For the second straight week the Rockies come in at the number 2 spot.  They too are also playing .700 ball to this point.  As I alluded to last week, Troy Tulowitzki is currently the best player in baseball having put the Rockies on his back.  He will make a serious run at the Triple Crown in the National League this year.

3) New York Yankees (7)

Whatever possessed me to put the Yankees as low as 7 last week is beyond my comprehension.  They have won 7 of their last ten and Russell Martin looks to be the steal of the offseason thus far.  The Yankees got Martin off of the clearance rack and he has done nothing but deliver. He is hitting .333 with 6 home runs and 15 runs batted in.

4) Cleveland Indians (5)

The Indians have been able to play quality baseball another week into the season.  Grady Sizemore returned from injury with a bang hitting a home run and double in his first game back.  The way the AL Central has shaken out in the early going there is no reason for the Tribe not to be fighting for a playoff spot come September.

5) Florida Marlins (10)

Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the ninth inning Friday night.  Ricky Nolasco is 2-0 with an ERA of 3.00.  Josh Johnson has shown he is for real with a 3-0 record and ERA of 1.00.  If the Marlins are going to get this type of pitching throughout the season, there is no reason they can’t take the NL Wild Card spot.

6) Texas Rangers (3)

The Rangers have been bitten by the injury bug, first losing Josh Hamilton for 8 weeks and now Neftali Feliz has a shoulder issue sidelining him for 2 weeks.  These are two guys that can’t be replaced.  Who are the Rangers calling upon to shut the door late in games? Darren Oliver.

7) St Louis Cardinals (11)

In the spirit of Easter Sunday, Lance Berkman’s career has been resurrected in St. Louis.  He is hitting .364 with six home runs and 15 runs batted in.  Albert Pujols is also starting to heat up with 7 long balls and 17 runs batted in.  If the St. Louis offense continues ripping the stitching of the ball, their lack  of pitching will not be exposed. Also worthy of note: Ryan Franklin is out as closer and Mitchell Boggs is in.

8) Boston Red Sox (12)

The Red Sox are who we thought they were.  The ultimate question is about Daisuke Matsuzaka.  To label Daisuke a mystery is understating the last 4 years of his tenure with the Red Sox.  The latest chapter? He was the pitcher of the week hurling 15 innings of two hit ball in his last two starts.  Will this continue? And mark my words, Carl Crawford will hit and when he does, look out.

9) Tampa Bay Rays ( 17)

In my preview of the 2011 season I had the Rays finishing fourth in the Al East.  As is usually the case, I was dead wrong.  I underestimated Joe Maddon and his ability to get the most out of his players.  The Rays are three games back and have played the whole season to this point without their best player (Evan Longoria).

10) Detroit Tigers (18)

The Tigers were dealt a serious blow in losing Victor Martinez to the disabled list earlier in the week. But  Ryan Raburn, Alex Avila, and Brennan Boesch have helped Miguel Cabrera supply the offense and they have gotten solid pitching from Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

11) Kansas City Royals (6)

The Royals split a four game series with the Indians earlier this week, and have lost two out of three to the Rangers thus far on the weekend series.  Much like the Orioles the question surrounding the Royals is if they can stand the test of time.  The Orioles answered the question rather quickly and I suspect the Royals will continue to fall down the list as the season goes on.

 12) Los Angeles Angels (9)

Last week a reader wrote in that I had the Angels to low on the list.  I paid particular attention them this week to see if I was in fact wrong.  I learned I wasn’t.  While they have a great 1-2 punch in Weaver and Haren, their offense leaves a lot to be desired.  The Red Sox exposed them this weekend winning 3 games going into Sunday’s finale.  Until the Angels get Kendrys Morales back and healthy, the Angels will continue to float around baseball purgatory.

13) Cincinnati Reds (4)

The Reds sit atop the airtight NL Central at the present moment but have dropped 7 of their last ten games.  Joey Votto has been white-hot hovering around the .400 mark with an OPS of 1.154.  Conversely its as if the Reds pitching staff is pitching exclusively to Joey Votto because they are collectively getting lit. Bronson Arroyo has the best ERA at 4.24 and Mike Leake is busy shoplifting from Macy’s.

14) Los Angeles Dodgers (27)

I can’t really decipher why I had the Dodgers near the bottom of the barrel last week.  I’ll chalk it up to the team making more news off of the field than on.  Major League Baseball had to take over operations for the Dodgers this week amongst the McCourt mess.  For what its worth, the last time MLB stepped in they took over the Montreal Expos and traded Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Cliff Lee for Bartolo Colon back in 2002.

15) San Francisco Giants (8)

Much to my dismay, the Brandon Belt Experiment: Version 1 did not work out according to plan.  The promising prospect hit .200 and was returned to the minor leagues when October hero Cody Ross came off the disabled list.  The Giants have the pitching to get themselves into a playoff race but much like last year’s world championship team, there will be questions about their offense.

16) Milwaukee Brewers (13)

The Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, and Cubs are all in a virtual tie for the division lead at the time of this writing in the NL Central.  That is truly remarkable when you stop and think about it.  At this point in the season, the Brewers starters have been disappointing to say the least.  The supposed ace of their staff, Yovanni Gallardo has an ERA near 5 and closer John Axford has done nothing to instill confidence in the Brewer faithful.

17) Oakland Athletics (16)

In true Billy Beane fashion the Athletics are getting by with awesome starting pitching from its rotation all the while having zero offense to speak of.  Brett Anderson is one of the most underrated lefty starters in the game.  That was evident as he shut down the Red Sox earlier in the week giving up 4 hits through 8 innings.

18) Chicago Cubs (20)

21-year-old Starlin Castro continues to be the story in Chicago.  Castro is hitting .393 with 10 runs batted in and just stopped having to use a fake ID to get into bars.  He is the next great shortstop reminding me of the Nomar, Jeter, A-Rod days when they were all young’uns and people would argue who the best of the bunch was.

19) Atlanta Braves (19)

For the second week in a row the Braves come in the 19 spot.  Dan Uggla continues to struggle in his new threads hitting just .176 with four home runs.  Uggla is a notoriously slow starter but the Braves need him to get his bat going if they want any hope of competing with the Phillies and Marlins.

20) Toronto Blue Jays (15)

The Blue Jays have disappointed me.  I had very high hopes for this organization going into the season seeing how young and talented their pitching staff was and how potent their offense was.  Well the offense hasn’t been potent and the pitching hasn’t been lights out.  Good news for the Jays? Brendan Morrow came off the disabled list yesterday and struck out ten through 5 and a third.

21) Pittsburgh Pirates (24)

Jose Tabata has cooled considerably.  Their offense has been at the bottom of the barrel for the first three weeks of the season.  Andrew McCutchen is off to a slow start with a .214 average.  Bright spots for the Pirates? Kevin Correa has continued to throw the ball well with an ERA of 2.48 and their closer Joel Hanrahan has been solid as well hitting 99 on the radar gun.

22) Washington Nationals (22)

Danny Espinosa has been an RBI machine for the Nats with 15 in 19 games.  Once Ryan Zimmerman comes off of the DL they will have a nice little heart of the lineup with Espinosa, Zimmerman, and Werth.  Ok, back to reality.  The team is hitting .217.  You aren’t going to win baseball games hitting .217. Somehow they are one game below .500.

23) Minnesota Twins (21)

The Twins best player to this point in the season has been Jason Kubel.  While I respect Kubel as a solid role-playing outfielder, he is not someone to hinge your entire offense on.  What I am getting at is the Twins need Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau back and fully healthy in the worst way.  The AL Central is wide-open this season and the Twins are fortunate they play in that weak of a division with the start they have gotten out to.

24) Houston Astros (26)

The Astros have climbed up the rankings three weeks in a row now.  Michael Bourn and Brett Wallace have been quality compliments to Hunter Pence in the Astro lineup while Carlos Lee is still stealing his $100 million.  It boggles my mind how any self-respecting athlete can sign a 6 year $100 million contract and not own up to his end of the contract.  Others that come to mind? JaMarcus Russell and Vin Baker.

25) New York Mets (30)

The Mets got Jason Bay back from the disabled list this week and will be expected to add some punch to the Mets offense.  I fail to understand how a team with Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay can lose as many games as the Mets do.  And then I look at their pitching staff and it all makes sense.  Capuano, Pelfrey, Niese, and Dickey?  Are they serious?

26) Arizona Diamondbacks (29)

Remember in the offseason when the Diamondbacks announced Justin Upton was on the trading block? Rumor is Theo Epstein inquired and was told it would take Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, and Jacoby Ellsbury.  Upton is hitting .280 with 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in.  Sorry, Mr. Kevin Towers.  You need to do a better job of evaluating your talent.

27) Seattle Mariners (28)

The Mariners continue to have a punchless offense hitting .228.  One has to wonder if they will make Ichiro available at the trade deadline in an effort to rebuild the franchise.  Ichiro is 37 years old but is still a .300 hitter with speed (7 stolen bases).  It may be time for the Mariners to seek out the best available deal and part ways with the future Hall of Famer. (Yeah, I said it.)

28) Baltimore Orioles (23)

In the off-season the Orioles took the strategy of low risk high reward signings and trades.  At this point, Mark Reynolds is hitting .177 with one home run, Derek Lee is hitting .225 with one home run, and Vladimir Guerrero is hittng .266 with three home runs.  That 4-0 start seems like it happened months ago. On a positive note Zach Britton  looks to be legit and not like David Hernandez, Jeremy Guthrie, or Daniel Cabrera.

29) San Diego Padres (25)

This for Padres fans: Anthony Rizzo is hitting .431 with 6 home runs at the Triple A level.  In 16.1 innings Casey Kelly has a 3.31 ERA with ten strikeouts and four walks at the Double A level. Rey Fuentes is hitting .328 in the High A Minor League level.  Much like my Mariner theory of trading Ichiro, the Padres should trade Heath Bell and reap the rewards.  The Padres will be atop the NL West in the next 5 years.

30) Chicago White Sox (14)

If there is one thing I have learned about myself in doing these rankings on a week to week basis, I have learned I like to have at least one team absolutely free fall in the them.  This week it is the White Sox who are currently an absolute mess.  They have lost nine of their last ten.  The biggest problem in Chicago has been the closer situation.  Why Ozzie won’t just give it to Sergio Santos at this point is beyond me.

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF


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