Stan "The Fan" Charles' MLB Power Rankings
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
Including games on Sunday, May 20
1. Texas Rangers (3-4 since May 14, 26-16 overall) -- It was an odd week for the formidable gang from Dallas/Fort Worth. Winning one of four games against Kansas City and Oakland at home cost them points. But, no team is jumping past these guys without a huge week.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2, 28-13) -- This team is close. Even with center fielder Matt Kemp being out, they don't miss a beat. They moved up, because the Yankees moved down. But these guys are starting to gain some real confidence.
3. Baltimore Orioles (5-2, 27-15) -- A five-game winning streak on the road showed some true grit. Starting pitching still needs consistency from Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz, but timely offense and an amazing bullpen are keeping the Orioles in the top five.
4. Washington Nationals (3-4, 24-17) -- A big win Sunday against the O's kept the Nationals in the same spot they held last week. Jesus Flores is not missing a beat with Wilson Ramos kidnapped by a season-ending injury.
5. New York Yankees (2-5, 21-20) -- From here on in, the Yankees' reputation will not define their place. Andy Pettitte's performance was a mental lifesaver for teammates and fans.
6. Atlanta Braves (4-3, 26-16) -- Sweeping St. Louis last week and taking the series in Tampa is impressive and makes up for the splits against the Reds and Marlins.
7. Tampa Rays (4-3, 25-17) -- The Rays started the week with three consecutive wins, but failed to take advantage of the Yankees' weak week. The Braves pitched right with the Rays and took two of three in Tampa to gain a spot in front of them.
8. Toronto Blue Jays (4-3, 23-19) -- Toronto didn’t move up one spot because of the gems Kyle Drabek and Branden Morrow pitched. … It's because right fielder Jose Bautista has his groove back, hitting three home runs during those seven games.
9. Cleveland Indians (5-2, 23-18) -- Chris Perez's comments notwithstanding, the Indians have gotten some dynamite starting pitching from Jeanmar Gomez and Derek Lowe. Closer Chris Perez criticized fans because of the low attendance numbers at Progressive Field, which could backfire on him.
10. St. Louis Cardinals (2-5, 22-19) -- The Cardinals made it past an early season injury to Lance Berkman, but he's about to find out whether he has re-torn his ACL. His 31 HRs, 94 RBIs and his presence would be nearly impossible to replace.
11. Miami Marlins (4-3 22-19) -- Pitcher Josh Johnson has returned from the dead to breathe life into the Fish. Miami sent first baseman Gaby Sanchez to the minors to try to rekindle his bat.
12. Boston Red Sox (5-2, 20-21) -- The Sox have climbed from 20 to 12 during the past two weeks, based on a 9-5 record. The bullpen, while not a huge strength, has been straightened out. Is Josh Beckett now ready to lead a resurgent starting rotation?
13. Detroit Tigers (3-4, 20-21) -- Back-to-back 3-4 weeks just won't cut it. Justin Verlander's one-hitter and Max Scherzer's 15-strikeout performance stood out. First baseman Prince Fielder has awakened. To those that call Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio complaining about second baseman Ryan Raburn -- really?
14. New York Mets (3-4, 22-19) -- Franchise-wise, the news this past week that Citi Field will be the home to the 2013 All-Star game is a little light at the midway point in the tunnel. But after David Wright, what other Met could be named to the team?
15. Philadelphia Phillies (5-2 21-21) -- The Phillies were on the way to a monster week with five straight wins, until they ran into Beckett and the Red Sox. Players may want to convince general manager Ruben Amaro not to be a seller at trading time. There is no imminent return for second baseman Chase Utley or first baseman Ryan Howard.
16. Los Angeles Angels (3-4, 18-24) -- General manager Jerry Dipoto proved he wields the power. Is skipper Mike Scoscia on-board? The new hitting coach, Jim Eppard, will be a lot different than ousted Mickey Hatcher. … He may have a talented Halos lineup working pitchers.
17. San Francisco (4-3 21-20) -- Is the irony lost on anyone else regarding pitchers Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum? The Freak's unfreak-like performance (6.04ERA) has to give the Giants pause about the danger signs of a long-term contract for a starter with questions about the number of innings pitched.
18. Cincinnati Reds (4-3, 21-19) -- Although they had a nice week, winning an interleague series against the Yankees, they still are performing as if their fuse is wet. Will Aroldis Chapman come to the rescue after his move to the bullpen?
19. Chicago White Sox (5-2, 21-21) -- The rotation, when healthy, is pitching lights-out. Too bad offense is scoring as if the lights are out, too.
20. Oakland Athletics (3-4, 21-21) -- The fact that this lineup has climbed back to .500 says a lot about how hard they play for manager Bob Melvin. Reliever Brian Fuentes has reemerged, as if he actually likes closing games. Grant Balfour is better suited to the sixth- or seventh-inning load.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks (4-3, 19-23) -- A winning record on the road for a week keeps Arizona in same spot.
22. Kansas City Royals (3-4 16-24) -- Four of five losses to Baltimore and Arizona at home, after a two-game sweep of the Rangers, sheds light on the inconsistency factor with the Royals.
23. Milwaukee Brewers (2-5, 17-24) -- Since the first week of Stan The Fan’s MLB Power Rankings, the Brewers have fallen from 11th to 23rd. Not sure there is enough there, there to get up off the canvas.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates (3-4, 19-22) -- The Pirates had a tough week with a lot of close calls. But, as former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick used to say "It is what it is." Until they can figure out a way to cross the plate a bit more, this is about as good as it gets.
25. Seattle Mariners (3-4 19-24) -- I know Chone Figgins has fallen off a cliff, but the rest of this positional lineup is rancid. It doesn't look as if there is much help on the way.
26. Houston Astros (3-4, 18-23) -- It was another losing week for the Astros. Although Texas is a big state, there really isn't room for Astros to be the real deal. The fact they aren't horrible is a positive.
27. San Diego Padres (4-3, 16-26) -- They stumbled past two awful teams, and poor manager Bud Black can't be really enjoying himself.
28. Minnesota Twins (4-3, 14-27) -- It doesn't take too much improvement to move in front of the bottom two teams. Designated hitter Justin Morneau is back, and if he stays healthy, maybe the offense can get out of snooze control.
29. Colorado Rockies (2-5, 15-25) -- The Mariners swept them at Coors Field. Enough said.
30. Chicago Cubs (1-6, 15-26) -- When pitcher Kerry Wood's sudden, emotional retirement at the age of 34 is your one good story for the week, you know you aren't in Kansas anymore.
Previous Power Rankings: May 14
Posted May 21, 2012