Patterson’s Week 7 MLB Rankings

This week there has been a major shakeup in the rankings with a new number one.  The shakeup was so major that I had to post this write-up a day late.  Ok that last part may be a small white lie.  Interesting side note on the 2011 MLB Season: Through a month and a half there have already been more rainouts than all of last season.  That is unbelievable when you stop and think about it.  Well, let’s get to the rankings!

1) Cleveland Indians (2)

It took 7 weeks but finally there is a new number one in town.  The Cleveland Indians have made believers out of me and are worthy of hopping over the Philadelphia Phillies to claim the number one spot. Asdrubal (not Ass Dribble) Cabrera leads the team in close to every offensive category hitting .302 with 9 home runs, 32 runs batted in, and 32 runs scored with an OPS of .885.

2) Philadelphia Phillies (1)

The Phillies got Chase Utley back from the disabled list today, a couple of days after losing the Flyin’ Hawaiian Shane Victorino to injury.  Losing Victorino has allowed the Phillies to call up top prospect Dominic Brown who was scorching hot in Triple A Lehigh Valley.  In Leigh Valley, Brown was hitting .341.

3) San Francisco Giants (6)

Despite a lack of offense the Giants find themselves in the top 3 after winning five in a row.  They are also 13-5 at home this season.  But how bad is the Giant offense?  Tim Lincecum has an ERA of 2.06 and is 4-4.  Brian Wilson has 13 saves and 4 wins.

4) St Louis Cardinals (11)

The St. Louis Cardinals have finally found their closer.  Fernando Salas converted all 4 of his chances this week and looks to have a vice grip on the closer role.  Mitchell Boggs has been sent back to Triple A.  Ryan Franklin and his 9.20 ERA have been regulated to middle relief duties.  If only the Cardinals had the fortunes of not blowing an innumerable amount of saves, they would easily be the number one team on this list.

5) Florida Marlins (4)

The Marlins are on the receiving end of bad news when they learned their ace Josh Johnson was headed for the disabled list with a shoulder issue.  Johnson admitted that his shoulder had been bothering him the majority of the season.  With that shoulder issue, Johnson still had a 1.64 ERA with a 3-1 record through 9 starts.

6) New York Yankees (9)

Since changing his swing last season Curtis Granderson has been a home run hitting machine. Sure, he is fortunate to have the benefit of a short right field porch at Yankee Stadium but he is definitely taking advantage of it.  He has 16 home runs on the year, 8 against right-handed pitching and 8 against left-handed pitching.  Not bad for a guy who use to be renown for not being able to touch lefties.

7) Tampa Bay Rays (3)

After a 13 strikeout performance against the Marlins, James Shields may finally be earning the moniker “Big Game James.”  I once mocked this nickname for Shields and found him undeserving of it considering he never really pitched in a big game.  But to this point in the season, the stats speak for themselves.  Shields is 5-2 with an ERA of 2.

8) Boston Red Sox (17)

It was only a few weeks ago that I was considering other catching options for the Sox.  Now Jarrod Saltalamacchia has rewarded the Red Sox brass’ patience with three home runs in his last four games.  He has also had a hit or an RBI in 12 of his last 14.  Now if the Sox can only get Pedroia and Crawford going they will be the unstoppable team everyone projected them to be in the winter.

9) Cincinnati Reds (5)

Brandon Phillips further solidified being one of my favorite non Red Sox players in baseball this week.  A 14-year-old kid tweeted at Phillips that he should come to his game that night.  Phillips actually showed up to the game, watched it, and hung out with the kids on the team for a little while.  The guy is a class act.

10) Atlanta Braves (8)

The Braves are battling the injury bug at the present time losing Jason Heyward to the disabled list and Chipper Jones being bothered my lingering injuries.  The good news is they have had great pitching from Tim Hudson, Jair Jurgens, Derek Lowe, and Tommy Hanson.  With Brandon Beachy going to the DL as well, the Braves have used prospects Julio Tehren and Mike Minor.  Once the Braves get healthy and Dan Uggla turns it around they may actually compete with the Marlins and Phillies in the East.

11) Milwaukee Brewers (19)

In the beginning of the year, I said that Shaun Marcum would be a stud in the NL Central after having to pitch against the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox all of his career.  To this point in the season Marcum has proved me right dealing against inferior competition.  Marcum is 6-1 with 7 quality starts in 10 outings.  He has an ERA of 2.37 and 62 strikeouts in 64 innings.

12) Texas Rangers (13)

At long last the Rangers will welcome back Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton from the disabled list.  After starting the season as the hottest team in baseball the injuries have cooled the Rangers considerably.  Getting the two big boppers back in the lineup should help the defending AL Champs extend their half game lead in the AL West.

13) Colorado Rockies (12)

After starting the season red-hot, Troy Tulowitzki has come back down to earth.  I believe I even had the audacity to say he was the best player in the game at one point this season.  Tulo is now hitting a pedestrian .250 with 11 home runs and 27 runs batted in.

14) Arizona Diamondbacks (25)

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.  After the Diamondbacks have won 6 in a row, 8 of their last ten, and gotten to a .500 record I felt compelled to launch the Diamondbacks 11 spots in the rankings.  Rookie Josh Collmenter has been awesome going 3-0 with an ERA of 0.69.  JJ Putz has also been outstanding closing the door for DBacks with 12 saves.

15) Toronto Blue Jays (15)

In Boston everyone is talking about Adrian Gonzalez going for the triple crown.  As of right now, Gonzalez’s numbers pale in comparison to Jose Bautista (last year’s home run king).  Bautista is hitting .353, with 18 home runs and 31 runs batted in.  If anyone could get on base in front of Bautista, there is no doubt in my mind we will see the first triple crown since Yaz did it.

16) Detroit Tigers (7)

Justin Verlander has had 10 starts this season and all of them have been quality starts.  Max Scherzer has been the starter getting the run support however as he is 6-1 with an ERA just under 3.  Verlander is 4-3 with an ERA of 2.96.

17) Los Angeles Angels (10)

With Kendry Morales out for the season, Mark Trumbo has provided the pop out of the Angels lineup.  The power hitting first baseman has 7 home runs and 21 runs batted in.  Vernon Wells is on the DL and that is a good thing for the Angels.  Being on the DL, it will be impossible for him to be the automatic out he is nowadays.

18) Seattle Mariners (28)

Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and a healthy Erik Bedard form one of the best 1-2-3 punches in baseball.  Now if only the Mariners can learn how to hit the baseball.

19) New York Mets (20)

It’s not good when your owner is bashing your players.  According to Fred Wilpon, Jose Reyes is not worth Carl Crawford money, David Wright is a nice guy but not a superstar, and in self-deprecating fashion, Wilpon calls himself a “schmuck” for giving Carlos Beltran his massive contract.

20) Kansas City Royals (14)

The Royals have won 3 of their last 10 and are starting to come back to reality after a nice start to the season.  Eric Hosmer continues to impress hitting .287 with 3 home runs in 59 at bats.  Mike Moustakas is hitting .265 with 8 home runs and 34 runs batted in at Triple A Omaha.  Moustakas was my pick for AL Rookie of the year this season.

21) Pittsburgh Pirates (23)

The Rangers have inquired about Pirates closer Joel Hanranhan who is under Pirate control through 2013, which would make the price a bit high.  Hanrahan has been one of the few bright spots closing games down for the Pirates this season.  This will be something to watch until the trade deadline.

22) Oakland A’s (16)

The A’s have to be excited to be getting Andrew Bailey back rather soon.  Brian Fuentes is 1-6  with an ERA of 4.71.  Those are not good closer numbers at all. Bailey starts his rehab assignment today and could rejoin the A’s as early as the weekend.

23) Baltimore Orioles (18)

Vladimir Guerrero is starting to heat up for the Orioles.  Last week he hit .444 with a home run and 5 runs batted in and 5 runs scored.  For the season Vlad is hitting .309 with 5 home runs and 19 runs batted in.

24) Chicago White Sox (27)

The White Sox are showing signs of life after winning 7 of their last 10.  Matt Thornton was quoted as saying Sergio Santos is the best bullpen pitcher in all of baseball.  Hyperbole? Santos has an ERA of 1.69, a WHIP of 1.08, and 6 saves.  On a side note, Jake Peavy is back and in his one start so far he looked like the Peavy of old.

25) Washington Nationals (21)

The only news out of Washington that is worthy of being reported is what’s going on with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.  The GM of the Nationals came out and said that Harper, despite ripping apart minor league pitching, will not be called up this season.  Harper is hitting .346 with 10 home runs and 34 runs batted in Class A.  Strasburg is expected to play catch for the first time since his Tommy John surgery this week, but isn’t expected to pitch this season.

26) Chicago Cubs (24)

Thoughts and prayers go out to Marlon Byrd after he was drilled in the face by an Alfredo Aceves fastball Saturday night that fractured his face.  It was a truly scary scene, and even scarier seeing how all the other players on the field reacted to the pitch.  Here’s to hoping a speedy recovery to Marlon Byrd.

27) Los Angeles Dodgers (22)

The Dodgers continue to make news off the field with the ugly McCourt divorce.  But on the field Matt Kemp has put together a nice little season so far hitting .316 with 10 home runs and 32 runs batted in, leading the team in all three categories.

28) San Diego Padres (26)

Heath Bell being the best closer in the game while pitching for San Diego is kind of like having a brand new chandelier in an abandoned house.  I will say that with absolute certainty Bell will be dealt prior to the trading deadline.

29) Houston Astros (29)

Mark Melancon has assumed closer duties in Houston after Brandon Lyon lost the job.  Not much else news to report here.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Astros don’t rank higher than 29 the rest of the season.

30) Minnesota Twins (30)

The Twins continue to be horrid and rank last in most statistical categories in all of baseball.  The good news? Joe Mauer has started playing in extended spring training games this week.

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF

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3 Responses

  1. I am a Braves fan, and I still have to admit I am surprised they aren’t lower than tenth in your power rankings. Despite the stellar pitching the Braves have been playing poor baseball lately and it seems like we have been waiting on the offense since day one. If they don’t start hitting soon, it could be too late to take the division, especially with Utley coming back.

    As for baseball as a whole, I think it is great that the Indians are having all this success, despite playing in the worst division in baseball. Hopefully they can keep it up. Great franchise. Maybe the fans will start to come back.

    • Thanks for your feedback! I have been a Braves hater for awhile only because my roommate was a die hard Braves fan. But as much as I have disliked them they have proved resilient. They are in a tough division with the Phillies and Marlins but will benefit if Selig expands the playoffs. I am also happy the Indians are doing well. I like surprises.

      • The Marlins have also been a surprise. I know they have been solid year in and year out but they are contending. I still think the Braves will be better if they start hitting and get over the injuries but thats slowly becoming a big if.

        I am still on the fence about the playoff expansion. I am almost positive that it is going to happen but I think I will have to wait until it happens to see what I think of it. What about you?

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