TSN.ca MLB Power Rankings
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 3:07 PM
The Reds, Pirates, Indians and Rays rise while the Braves, Orioles, Rockies and Brewers fall in this week's edition of the MLB Power Rankings.
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This Week1Last Week4St. Louis Cardinals26-14
Cardinals starters have a 2.38 ERA, more than three-quarters of a run better than the second-best rotation, Washington (3.14 ERA), to this point in the season.
Key Injuries: RHP Jason Motte (elbow), RHP Jake Westbrook (elbow).
This Week2Last Week1Detroit Tigers22-17
The Tigers' worst starter this month has been RHP Justin Verlander, seriously. The real positive to take out of that is that RHP Rick Porcello has made some progress, with a 3.72 ERA over his last three starts.
Key Injuries: CF Austin Jackson (hamstring).
This Week3Last Week2Boston Red Sox24-17
While some Red Sox bats are cooling off (looking at you, CF Jacoby Ellsbury and DH David Ortiz), SS Stephen Drew has come alive, hitting three homers, driving in 12 and putting up a .946 OPS in 14 games this month.
Key Injuries: RHP Joel Hanrahan (hamstring), RHP Andrew Bailey (biceps).
This Week4Last Week8Cincinnati Reds25-16
1B Joey Votto and CF Shin-Soo Choo have walked 64 times. The second best tandem in the majors in that category, the Mets' David Wright and Lucas Duda, have accrued 50 walks.
Key Injuries: LF Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), RHP Johnny Cueto (lat), C Ryan Hanigan (oblique).
This Week5Last Week3Texas Rangers27-14
1B Mitch Moreland has gone on a tear after a slow start, slugging five home runs and driving in 10 runs in the last nine games.
Key Injuries: RHP Neftali Feliz (elbow), RHP Colby Lewis (elbow), LHP Matt Harrison (back), RHP Alexi Ogando (biceps), C A.J. Pierzynski (oblique).
This Week6Last Week16Cleveland Indians22-17
Pitching has been a major surprise for the Tribe, perhaps none more than LHP Scott Kazmir, whose average fastball is up to 91.8 MPH, his best since 2007, and he's striking batters out -- 9.95 per nine innings -- as a result.
Key Injuries: RHP Brett Myers (elbow).
This Week7Last Week14Pittsburgh Pirates24-17
It's only been two starts, but LHP Francisco Liriano is teasing again, striking out 16 in 11 innings and posting a 1.64 ERA. Can he maintain his command enough and stay healthy enough to be a season-long contributor for the Bucs?
Key Injuries: RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder).
This Week8Last Week7San Francisco Giants24-17
RHP Ryan Vogelsong's feel-good story could be coming to and end, at least the part that includes being part of the Giants' starting rotation. Allowing a major-league-worst 2.40 HR/9, his mistakes are big ones and he's paid the price, to the tune of an 8.27 ERA.
Key Injuries: None.
This Week9Last Week10New York Yankees25-16
Amidst all the injuries, the Yankees have found their way to the top of the AL East again, thanks in part to stellar pitching. RHP Hiroki Kuroda has quietly delivered a 2.31 ERA and 1.05 WHIP through eight starts, both easily the best marks of his career.
Key Injuries: RHP Michael Pineda (shoulder), 1B Mark Teixeira (wrist), 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip), SS Derek Jeter (ankle), 3B Kevin Youkilis (back), C Francisco Cervelli (hand), RHP Ivan Nova (triceps), SS Eduardo Nunez (ribs).
This Week10Last Week12Washington Nationals22-19
Even before running face-first into the outfield wall, LF Bryce Harper had slumped this month so, even with Thursday's home run, he's hitting .161 with a .644 OPS in May. No big deal, but we'll see if that home run helps him bust out.
Key Injuries: RF Jayson Werth (hamstring), C Wilson Ramos (hamstring).
This Week11Last Week11Kansas City Royals20-17
Elliot Johnson is getting a chance to play at second base, hit .302 average and .729 OPS more appealing than what the Royals have been getting from Chris Getz (.193 and .522).
Key Injuries: None.
This Week12Last Week6Atlanta Braves22-18
Remember, Brian McCann? He was the guy on the sidelines while Evan Gattis wrote a remarkable story in the first month, but now McCann is healthy and has three homers, 10 RBI and a 1.005 OPS in his first eight games.
Key Injuries: RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow), RF Jason Heyward (appendix).
This Week13Last Week13Arizona Diamondbacks23-18
Look at 3B Eric Chavez, still alive and hitting in the desert! He hasn't had 400 at-bats in a season since 2006, but the 35-year-old is hitting .310 with a .912 OPS (4 HR, 16 RBI) in 84 at-bats this season.
Key Injuries: CF Adam Eaton (elbow), 2B Aaron Hill (hand), RHP J.J. Putz (elbow).
This Week14Last Week5Baltimore Orioles23-17
The Orioles could really use 2B Brian Roberts returning sometime soon. His primary replacement, Ryan Flaherty, is hitting .133 with a .461 OPS in 90 at-bats.
Key Injuries: 2B Brian Roberts (knee), DH Wilson Betemit (knee), LHP Wei-Yin Chen (oblique), RHP Miguel Gonzalez (thumb).
This Week15Last Week9Colorado Rockies21-20
LHP Jorge De La Rosa isn't the same strikeout threat that he was pre-Tommy John surgery, when he was nudging up against a strikeout per inning, but hit 2.98 ERA and 1.21 WHIP are positive indicators.
Key Injuries: LHP Jeff Francis (groin), RF Michael Cuddyer (neck).
This Week16Last Week23Tampa Bay Rays20-20
For a guy that doesn't throw very hard (90.0 MPH average fastball), RHP Alex Cobb gets a lot of strikeouts (8.83/9 IP). There's something to be said for knowing how to pitch.
Key Injuries: LHP David Price (triceps).
This Week17Last Week19Philadelphia Phillies19-22
He's been very effective (1.08 ERA, 0.60 WHIP), but is there reason to be concerned about closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose K/9 rate is down to 6.48. His velocity is down 1.5-2 MPH, but his previous low strikeout rate was 9.00 as a rookie, in 2005.
Key Injuries: LHP John Lannan (quad), RHP Roy Halladay (shoulder).
This Week18Last Week18Seattle Mariners20-21
Mariners shortstops Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino have hit .133 with a .338 OPS, yet the Mariners have yet to call up SS Nick Franklin, who has a .966 OPS at Triple-A Tacoma.
Key Injuries: CF Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring).
This Week19Last Week15Oakland Athletics20-22
The three A's relievers that are trusted at the end of games (for holds and saves) -- Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour -- have been great, combining for a 1.59 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 59 strikeouts in 51 innings.
Key Injuries: LHP Brett Anderson (ankle), RF Josh Reddick (wrist), CF Chris Young (quad).
This Week20Last Week20Chicago Cubs17-23
1B Anthony Rizzo is the celebrated slugger in the Cubs' lineup, but the regular with the best OPS this year has been veteran David DeJesus, whose .878 is the best of his career.
Key Injuries: RHP Matt Garza (elbow).
This Week21Last Week25Los Angeles Dodgers17-22
Good for the Dodgers that LF Carl Crawford has picked up his game and is once again an offensive force, but not great that Crawford's five home runs leads the team. CF Matt Kemp sitting on one bomb through 149 at-bats is more than a little surprising.
Key Injuries: RHP Josh Beckett (groin), RHP Chad Billingsley (elbow), SS Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), 2B Mark Ellis (quad), LHP Ted Lilly (ribs).
This Week22Last Week21Chicago White Sox18-21
Veteran Canadian reliever Jesse Crain has been outstanding for the White Sox this season, leading the AL with 11 holds, 0.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 25 K in 19 IP.
Key Injuries: LHP John Danks (shoulder), 2B Gordon Beckham (wrist), RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow).
This Week23Last Week17Milwaukee Brewers16-23
It says something about how poorly the Brewers are pitching when they are gettin breakthrough offensive performances from CF Carlos Gomez and SS Jean Segura and they've still lost 12 of their last 14 to fall off the pace in the NL Central.
Key Injuries: 1B Corey Hart (knee).
This Week24Last Week22New York Mets15-23
1B Ike Davis has 46 strikeouts and 20 hits in 128 at-bats. The only hitters with worse ratios are Braves CF B.J. Upton (49:19) and new Mets teammate Rick Ankiel (38:15).
Key Injuries: RHP Frank Francisco (elbow).
This Week25Last Week26San Diego Padres18-22
Can RHP Andrew Cashner stay healthy enough to remain in the rotation? He's been effective (2.51 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) through his first five starts this season.
Key Injuries: CF Cameron Maybin (wrist), LHP Cory Luebke (elbow), C Yasmani Grandal (suspension), LHP Clayton Richard (virus).
This Week26Last Week24Minnesota Twins18-19
C Joe Mauer can sure swing the bat. He's hitting .349 this year and the lowest average of his career was .287 a couple of years ago when he went through that leg issue (ie. bilateral leg weakness).
Key Injuries: None.
This Week27Last Week27Toronto Blue Jays17-24
They aren't vaulting up the rankings, yet, but there are signs of life in Toronto. The Jays are 7-3 in their last 10 and they aren't beating up cream puffs with wins over San Francisco, Boston and Tampa Bay.
Key Injuries: SS Jose Reyes (ankle), RHP Josh Johnson (triceps).
This Week28Last Week29Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim15-26
After a slow start, LF Mike Trout has a 1.165 OPS in May. Get ready for more greatness because his current .900 OPS is climbing and he had a .963 OPS last season, when he should have won the American League MVP.
Key Injuries: RHP Jered Weaver (elbow), CF Peter Bourjos (hamstring).
This Week29Last Week28Miami Marlins11-30
Has there been a pitcher to post a strong WHIP, yet subpar ERA as often as RHP Ricky Nolasco? This season, his 4.39 ERA seems high for a 1.22 WHIP. A's RHP Bartolo Colon and Giants RHP Matt Cain are the only starters with a higher ERA with a WHIP of 1.24 or lower.
Key Injuries: 1B Logan Morrison (knee), RHP Henderson Alvarez (shoulder), RHP Nate Eovaldi (shoulder), RF Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring).
This Week30Last Week30Houston Astros11-30
LF Chris Carter has nine home runs to lead the Astros. With Rick Ankiel gone, the next most on the team is a three-way tie between 1B Carlos Pena and catchers Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan, with three.
Key Injuries: CF Justin Maxwell (hand).