Stan "The Fan" Charles' MLB Power Rankings
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
Including games on Sunday, May 13
Four weeks into my first attempt at weekly power rankings and one thing is consistent -- the Texas Rangers are the clear No. 1 right now. What has become just as clear is that, after three consecutive weeks at the bottom, the Minnesota Twins have made a home for themselves in the 30th and last spot.
1. Texas Rangers (23-12 overall, 5-2 since May 7) -- Josh Hamilton had quite a week, with six home runs against the Orioles -- including a four-home run game May 8 -- plus three against the Angels. But, the statement game of the week was reserved for a national TV audience against the Angels, a 13-6 spanking.
2. New York Yankees (19-15, 4-2) -- I take some heat for this, with the Yankees being in third place in the AL East, but they took two of three against Tampa Bay … and they got back pitcher Andy Pettitte.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (23-11, 5-1) -- Home cooking pays off, as they are 15-3 at Dodger Stadium. The pickup of right fielder Bobby Abreu looks good. Let's keep an eye on center fielder Matt Kemp's hamstring injury.
4. Washington Nationals (21-13, 3-3) -- The Nationals were close to a 4-2 week, but lost to the Reds May 13 when Joey Votto hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. The saying is "I'd rather be lucky than good" -- the Nationals are unlucky and good.
5. Baltimore Orioles (22-13, 3-4) -- The key to the Orioles' short-term survival as surprise AL team of the year hinges on the health and continued stud-like performance of Jason Hammel. Baltimore's bullpen is good, and being handled well.
6. Tampa Bay Rays (21-14, 2-4) -- Without Evan Longoria and with B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist underperforming, it looks as if manager Joe Maddon's lineup is doing it with smoke and mirrors. Nobody does it better.
7. Atlanta Braves (22-13, 4-2) -- The Braves flip-flop with the Cardinals after sweeping them.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (20-14, 3-3) -- The Cardinals swept Arizona in Phoenix, then came home and got swept by the Braves. Pitcher Adam Wainright had one good start and then stepped back again.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (19-16, 3-3) -- The cluster teams around the Jays took steps backwards. Maybe the third time will be the charm, as Casey Janssen tries to settle in as the team's third closer during the first 30 games of the season. Jose Bautista seems to be waking up. Vladimir Guerrero may have another cat life left.
10. New York Mets (19-15, 4-2) -- The way they swept a wounded Phillies team opened my eyes and they impressed in losing two of three to a red-hot Marlins squad.
11. Detroit Tigers (17-17, 3-4) -- The Tigers are the biggest disappointment in baseball to date. They are 1-5 against the Mariners this season, a team that cannot score. First baseman Prince Fielder is batting .266 and starting to do a nice impersonation of Albert Pujols, who is batting .196 with the Angels after signing one of the biggest contracts in major league history.
12. Miami Marlins (18-16, 4-2) -- Manager Ozzie Guillen's team is starting to walk the walk, as they followed up a survival week of 6-1 with a solid 4-2 week. Guillen didn't say anything further about Fidel Castro. He's letting his team do the talking for him.
13. Cleveland Indians (18-16, 3-5) -- The Indians couldn't sustain the lofty heights of making the top 10. The Red Sox outclassed them at Fenway Park, and that isn't easy these days.
14. Los Angeles Angels (15-20, 3-3) -- Last week I moved the Angels up from 18th to 12th, based on a 5-2 week and a sense they were sniffing something. I may not be totally wrong, but whatever it is they sniffed moved them back two places for now. An embarrassing, nationally televised loss Sunday in Texas didn't help matters.
15. San Francisco Giants (17-17, 3-3) -- The Giants and Reds are like racecars, drafting on one another. Pitcher Tim Lincecum came up small against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
16. Cincinnati Reds (17-16, 3-3) -- Can't put my finger on what's missing here, and apparently they can't either.
17. Boston Red Sox (15-19, 4-3) -- This could be their turnaround week. After the team's PA announcer was killed in a car accident, David Ortiz was involved in a small fender bender and Josh Beckett did his best job yet at portraying a petulant child, the Red Sox came back and beat the Tribe three straight.
18. Oakland Athletics (18-17, 3-3) -- Billy Beane has acquired a nice group of young pitchers he can trade, just as soon as they get expensive. Injuries to center fielder Yoenis Cespedes and catcher Kurt Suzuki will put the heat on manager Bob Melvin to create offense.
19. Philadelphia Phillies (16-19, 2-4) -- The Phillies had a lead during all three games against the Mets and managed to lose all three. With huge crowds watching them nightly at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies are a high-wire act, which has the makings of a big fall, and they need to reload.
20. Milwaukee Brewers (15-19, 3-3) -- The Brewers are almost like Cincinnati, except I can put my finger on the problem here -- Fielder is gone and the starting pitching is having more bad nights than good ones.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-20, 1-5) -- The Rockies and Padres give this bunch hope they can't possibly be a cellar dweller.
22. Kansas City Royals (13-20, 4-2) -- Digging out of a hole has to begin with the first spade full of dirt. There is too much talent here to think they won't at the very least get more than respectable.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates (16-18, 4-2) -- With Milwaukee stumbling, the Reds not playing up to their potential and the Cardinals only four games ahead of the Pirates, this summer could get interesting … if the Pirates can get one more bat.
24. Chicago White Sox (16-19, 3-4) -- This figured to be an odd season on the South Side. Designated hitter Adam Dunn has come back from the dead, but the offense has been zombie-like and now the bullpen has sprung a couple leaks, too.
25. Seattle Mariners (16-20, 3-3) -- Take away the Mariners' 5-1 mark versus the Tigers and they are 11-19 against everyone else. This was not going to be a good offensive team, but Chone Figgins; Justin Smoak; and, to a lesser extent, Dustin Ackley have come up woefully short.
26. Houston Astros (15-19, 2-4) -- Astros manager Brad Mills is doing a terrific job under difficult circumstances. The Astros get to play in the same division as the Rangers next season. Now that's something to look forward to.
27. Colorado Rockies (13-20, 1-5) -- Can anyone say, "Slip-sliding away"? I never expected to see a team so poorly put together under general manager Dan O'Dowd.
28. Chicago Cubs (14-20, 3-3) -- The expectations for the Cubs were much worse. It figures to shape up as an interesting trading season for Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations. That should start in about 30 days.
29. San Diego Padres (12-23, 3-3) -- Waiting for left fielder Carlos Quentin to return from the disabled list is takin on almost as existential a feel as "Waiting for Godot." Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson each make $5.5 million.
30. Minnesota Twins (10-24, 3-4) -- At least the Twins know who they are. The rebuilding has begun.
Previous Power Rankings: May 7
Posted May 14, 2012
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