MLB Power Rankings | Week 5

Managing Editor
Posted May 5, 2007


The top of our leader boards is home to a long-time resident, but there are three young and upstart teams making waves early in the season. Red Sox Nation continues to lead the pack, but the Tribe, Baby Braves, and the Brew Crew are right on their heels.

Along with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Detroit Tigers also catch fire to rearrange the Top 10, while the Redbirds and ChiSox slide down the rankings with anemic offensive performances this past week.

With B.J. Ryan going down in Toronto, could a familiar face take over the reins for the Blue Jays closing duties? Let's take a look at notes around the league and where each team stands in Week 5 of the season (stats through May 4).

This week's installment of SFDugout.com's Power Rankings:

Rank
Team (W-L, LW Rk)
Comments
1
Boston Red Sox

(19-9, 1)

Josh Beckett (6-0) became the first Sox pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1991 to win his first six starts of the season.

2
Cleveland Indians

(17-9, 2)

The Tribe has won 10 of their last 11 games to take control of the AL Central. Meanwhile, Grady Sizemore has drawn 20 walks in his first 21 games.

3
Milwaukee Brewers

(19-10, 4)

One reason why the Brew Crew is on fire has been shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy is off to an unreal start, batting .328 to go with 10 doubles, seven homers, 22 RBI, and a 15/12 K/BB ratio thus far, riding a 15-game hitting streak.

4

Atlanta Braves

(18-10, 3)

The Jarrod Saltalamacchia Era has begun in Atlanta. "Salty" was recently promoted because Double-A Mississippi had just arrived in Montgomery, Ala. "He was just across the street," manager Bobby Cox said, when asked about his new catcher.

5
New York Mets

(18-10, 5)

Giants fans know this all too well. After going 0-for-10 last weekend, Moises Alou (knee) may need a cortisone shot after leaving Thursday's game, which would sideline him for several days.

6

Detroit Tigers

(17-11, 10)

Gary Sheffield was mired in a hitting slump, but was plunked in a series of beanball wars, and then went 5-for-10 in three games against Baltimore, including a 4-for-4 effort Wednesday in a 3-2 victory. "He has been fired up since the bench-clearing thing on Monday," Baltimore starter Steve Trachsel said. "You're supposed to let sleeping dogs lie, and we didn't do that."

7

Los Angeles Dodgers

(17-12, 6)

Brett Tomko dropped his seventh straight road decision on Friday. The former Giant allowed four runs and five hits, walked a season-high six and struck out three in 4 2/3 innings. The righty hasn't won on the road since May 15, 2006 at Colorado. He fell to 0-4 with an 8.81 ERA in five games at Turner Field.

8

And so it begins: The Tim Lincecum Era will officially be underway Sunday, and in front of a national TV audience at that. ESPN is broadcasting the Giants-Phils series finale as their game of the week.

9
Los Angeles Angels

(17-13, 13)

As "Vlad" goes, so go the Angels. Vladimir Guerrero has hit .431 (25-for-58) with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in the Angels' 16 victories. In their 12 losses, Guerrero has hit .194 (6-for-31) with just one home run and only four RBIs.
10
San Diego Padres

(15-14, 12)

MVP, MVP, MVP: Adrian Gonzalez had 25 RBI in April, the most ever by a Padre. He also hit seven homers, equaling the Padres record for April.

11

Minnesota Twins

(15-14, 9)

Time is running out on Sidney Ponson's trial with the Twins. The former Giant has a 6.67 ERA, despite facing the Devil Rays twice already. As a few Twins prospects begin to pitch well in the minors, Ponson could lose his spot in the rotation.

12
Seattle Mariners

(13-11, 14)

All washed up? Surfer boy/starting pitcher Jeff Weaver is 0-5 with an 10.38 ERA in five starts, accounting for nearly half the M's losses. Nice offseason signing.

13

Arizona Diamondbacks

(16-15, 11)

Winning the close ones: Out of the D-backs first 26 games, 17 were decided by two runs or fewer. Arizona is 8-4 in one-run games and 3-2 in two-run games.
14

Oakland Athletics

(14-14, 15)

The A's rank first in WHIP (1.18) and ERA (3.21), but last in slugging percentage (.355) in the AL. No wonder GM Billy Beane is burning the phone lines in search of hitting.

15

Chicago Cubs

(13-14, 25)

"The message was to relax and play. You're going to get a paycheck whether you win or lose. Your wife's going to love you. The dog is going to bark when you come home. It's supposed to be fun. And if you get beat, go out there and do the same thing the next day." -- Manager Lou Piniella on what he said he told his players in a recent post-game meeting.

16
Florida Marlins

(14-14, 21)

"He's half man, half amazing. He's the field general of this team, so if he can do that with half a rib, imagine what he can do when he's healthy." -- Dontrelle Willis talking about Miguel Cabrera, who had a career-high five hits Saturday despite a sore torso.

17

Chicago White Sox

(12-14, 8)

Mayday, mayday: Joe Crede is being counted on heavily to start producing, as manager Ozzie Guillen decided to move the third baseman up in the order to the No. 5 spot. The problem is that the month of May has never been kind to Crede. Entering this season, he was a career .214 hitter in May -- the lowest average of any month for the seventh-year player.

18

Pittsburgh Pirates

(13-15, 16)

Overtime: Former Giant Salomon Torres has made 106 relief appearances since the start of last season, more than any pitcher in the major leagues.

19

Philadelphia Phillies

(13-16, 20)

From Opening Day starter to closing duties: Brett Myers picked up his first career save Thursday, while Tom Gordon (shoulder) was placed on the disabled list.

20

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

(13-16, 22)

Theivery Corporation: The D-Rays lead the AL in base swipes with 28, led by the speedy Carl Crawford, who has seven.

21

Cincinnati Reds

(13-16, 23)

Josh Hamilton -- a Rule 5 pick the Reds planned to use as a fourth outfielder/pinch hitter/defensive specialist -- not only forced his way into the lineup in April, but he was named National League Rookie of the Month after hitting .266 with six homers, 11 walks and 13 RBIs.

22

Toronto Blue Jays

(13-16, 18)

Former Giant Jeremy Accardo has been next to perfect this season. In 11 appearances, he has yet to give up a run. In 13 2/3 innings, he has allowed just five hits, walked five and struck out 13.

23

Baltimore Orioles

(13-16, 19)

Wild birds: Orioles pitchers have issued 105 walks in just their first 23 games of the season, which is an average of 4.56 per game. They lead the AL in walks.

24
New York Yankees

(12-15, 27)

The Yanks played 22 games before recording a save this year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees were only the second team since 1989 to go that far into a season before recording a save (the 2002 Tigers went 26 games).

25
Houston Astros

(12-16, 26)

Front and Center: With their offense sputtering, the Astros purchased the contract of outfielder Hunter Pence from Triple-A Round Rock. Pence, who was hitting .325/.386/.550 in 80 at-bats for Round Rock, will get a chance to become the Astros' everyday center fielder.

26
Colorado Rockies

(12-17, 29)

THREE-lowitzki: Sunnyvale native Troy Tulowitzki recorded a rare unassisted triple play in the seventh inning last Sunday when Kelly Johnson and Edgar Renteria, runners on first and second, broke on a 3-2 pitch that Chipper Jones lined to Tulowitzki, which the shortstop caught and then stepped on second and tagged the runner breaking from first.
27
St. Louis Cardinals

(11-16, 17)

Worse than the Nats? The Cards rank last in the league in runs scored with 87. As a result, they won just two games in April when they allowed more than three runs.

28

Texas Rangers

(11-18, 24)

Sammy Sosa left Thursday's game after getting beaned on the helmet, but reportedly "checked out fine" afterward. He's gone 0-for-9 since being plunked.

29

Kansas City Royals

(10-20, 28)

At least he's worth the money. Gil Meche has allowed zero earned runs in his first three road starts, covering 20 1/3 innings.

30
Washington Nationals

(9-20, 30)

Hopefully he didn't fill out a change-of-address form just yet. Ryan Langerhans was acquired from the Athletics late Wednesday night in exchange for Chris Snelling in a swap of backup outfielders. Langerhans, who had just been dealt to Oakland from Atlanta last Sunday, was dealt twice in the same week.



Phil De La Cruz served as the managing editor for SF State University's college publication, The Golden Gate [X]press Online, in 2006. He continues to edit and publish articles for Scout.com's San Francisco Giants affiliate and can be reached at pdlcruz@sfsu.edu.

The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.



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