Friday, March 7, 2008

MLB Power Rankings- Spring Training

*For Dews and Modews- Devout Oriole fans*

So far I am in heaven. So many games, not enough time to listen to any of them. I understand that we are still early into Spring Training, but I do think it’s foolish to think that Spring Training games are meaningless. There are a few guys that could easily shock the world and make a 25 man roster and completely undue the whole space-time-continuum, and so forth. But due to the amount of games and lack of time I can listen to them, I’m forced to write this over the time span of a week, hence the sparse contributions of my side to the blog. No worries though, this is a labor of love.

1 (1) Boston Red Sox- The offense is moving along VERY slowly. Other than the usual suspects, nobody is really impressing me. Ellsbury, Lestor, and Bucholtz have been mediocre at best this spring. But we are only 7 games into ST. The good news is that the pitching is still lights out.

2 (2) Detroit Tigers- Just as I suspected. It’s like Detroit is hitting off a batting tee in the cage. Nobody can pitch to this potent lineup. Mags, Cabrera, and the rest of the gang continue to put up .400 plus AVG and give souvenir HR balls to the fans.

3 (3) Chicago Cubs- I’m not impressed with them thus far. Alfonso Soriano is hurt (Out 1 week so no, there is no PR shift here Dews). Although Zambrano seems to have remembered what it felt like to be a winner again (3IP, 3K).

4 (4) LA Dodgers- James Loney is on a tear right now and should beat out NOMAH for the 1b job. Luckily for Normar, he is playing well enough to take the 3b gig away if Andy LaRouche struggles.

5 (5) New York Mets- Angel Pagan is proving his worth right about now, having NY Fans forget about the Lastings Miledge experiment. Pagan may start now that Moises Alou is hurt. Santana made his second start, pitching 3IP and 4K.

6 (6) New York Yankees- Philip Hughes pitched ok in his first start. He only got 1IP due to weather but gave up nothing. I would also like to re-introduce Kei Igawa back from the dead. Will his success last?? Time will tell. Oh, and congrats go out to the Yankees Wednesday night. Perfect Game man!! Granted it was a 6IP game, but hey, it’s the little victories that count.

7 (7) San Diego Padres- Excellent news in Padre camp. Greg Maddux appears to be 28 years old again. He needed only 18 pitches and 2 innings to neutralize the Giants. I do believe that SD needs to give rookie Chase Headley more opportunities though.

8 (8) Cleveland Indians- The search for a new closer should begin…..NOW. Joe Borowski may have saved 45 games but he made you Indian fan hold their breathes each and everytime. This spring, he isn’t looking to good giving up big numbers. On a side note, the Indians got 1-hit vs the Braves.

9 (9) LA Angels- You don’t need me to tell you this offense is good. I know its spring but wow, a lot of guys hitting over .400 plus they are crushing their opponents (Willits Kendricks, Hunter, Figgins). Granted they are still losing and you can blame that on the pitching. That pitching lacks depth and it shows.

10 (10) Arizona Diamondbacks- This bullpen could actually be worse than the Giants. That and the offense are looking LIKE a Single-A ball club this spring.

11 (11) Chicago Whitesox- Nick Swisher is on fire right now as is “on again, off again” SP Mark Buehrle (4IP, 1hit, 1K).

12 (12) Colorado Rockies- As usual, it’s the Matt Holliday one-man show. Nobody in the lineup has done a whole lot this spring. The only good thing I have seen this week is the pitching of Franklin Morales. He could, hell, should lock up the 5th spot in the rotation.

13 (13) Houston Astros- Sometimes it feels good to be right. The Astro’s continue to push the idea that pitching doesn’t matter as long as you have every position player in the lineup hit HR’s. Or at least that’s the case I heard while listening to their game vs TB. Side Note- It is nice to see Jose Cruz Jr. make good use of his comeback tour. He is on a tear and could easily steal Michael Bourns CF spot away from him!

14 (14) Milwaukee Brewers- Manny Parra (3IP, 4K) is making batters look like trees these days. Seems the Corey Hart sophomore slump may go into effect this season. But for you Ryan Braun fans, he is putting up solid numbers. Nothing breathtaking, but solid never the less

15 (15) Tampa Bay Rays- There is only one name to remember so far in TB- Evan Langoria. He is the future of this already young and talented team. He should assume the 3b role once Akinori Iwamura gets settled in at 2b. The pitching has looked good but that bullpen will break a few hearts.

16 (16) Seattle Mariners- Erik Bedard made his 2nd start count, well kind of. 3IP, 1ER and 1K. Ichiro has yet to record a hit but the rest of the lineup is playing like a Barrel of Fire (Can I use that one?)

17 (17) Philadelphia Philly’s- Give it up to Brett Myers (whom I hate). So far he is pitching well and could be a solid contributor in the rotation. Chase is off to a slow start but “Papa Bear” Ryan Howard isn’t. Hell, even Giant-Failure Pedro Feliz is turning heads. If he keeps it up, he will steal 3B away from Wes helms.

18 (21) Toronto Blue Jays- After weeks of debate, I decided this team IS that good and should be back in the top 20. Back to the games, Either Gibbons is not starting his stars or they forgot its ST. Nobody is hitting the ball so far. On that note, the SP hasn’t been very good also. But this is Toronto, they will be fine.

19 (18) Washington Nationals- I will give the Nats some well deserved credit. They played 2 vs. LA and managed to split. Nick Johnson should have us all worried thus far; it looks like he gained A LOT of weight and on top of that, Dmitri Young right is pushing 300lbs. That and we learned he has been diagnosed with diabetes, which could reduce his playing time. Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Miledge are playing very well. We Washington folk continue to drool until the new park opens up. I predict a 40HR season from Zimm!!!

20 (19 Atlanta Braves- I’m joining Dewey’s bandwagon (Or one of the D’s on LSWTF). Jar Jurrjens could be the NL ROY. Pitched 3 no hit innings, 3K No BB in his 2nd start of the spring. Keep a close eye on him this spring.

21 (20) Minnesota Twins- Its safe to say they REALLY miss Santana. Kevin Slowey is expected to be on the 5 man rotation is playing as if he is in AA. The good news is that Delmon Young is playing like a champion.

22 (22) Cincinnati Reds- They signed former Oriole has-beens Jerry Hairston Jr. and Corey Patterson. I’m not sure what they are trying to prove here but these guys wouldn’t even be a back-up to their starters back-ups. But hey, its Cinci. They do this stuff every year!! Joey Votto (.214 AVG) is struggling while his 1B competitor, Scott Hatteberg (.300AVG) is not. Votto could see some time in AAA if he doesn’t improve. Also, for you Homer Bailey (3IP, 2K in his last start) fans- He is pitching pretty well so far. Could crack the rotation or be their long relief option.

23 (23) San Francisco Giants- We may not be winning but our offense is doing a lot better than I thought. Rowand hit his first HR or the spring and Eugenio Velez continues to scare Ray Durham. In my opinion, he should be our Opening Day starter at 2b. Oh, and yes, our pitching is crap right now. Noah Lowry managed a new low (9 walks in 1 inning). On a side note- Zito (3IP 1ER) managed to pitch pretty well on Wednesday. Hey, it’s an improvement!

24 (24) Oakland A's- I may have a new favorite breakout player of the season. Jim Fiorentino. Dews knows all about this guy. He hasn’t had many ABs but he is making good one what he has. Joe Blanton got roughed up again but my old Oldie but Goodie fav, Mike Sweeney, managed to record his first OF assist. This is big for a team who is sure to rotate guys all over the field.

25 (25) St Louis Cardinals- I had a chance to listen to a Cards game and I wasn’t all the impressed. The pitching stunk and nobody could get on base; all except for Juan Gonzalez and another rookie ive got my eye on, Colby Rasmus. Potential season threatening news: Albert Pujols is hurt!

26 (26) Pittsburgh Pirates- Keep a close eye on 1b/RF Steve Pearce (2HR, 5RBI in 5 games). He could be a May-June call-up if Adam LaRouche has another crappy start.

27 (27) Texas Rangers- I had to see it to believe it. Edgardo Alfonzo is back in baseball. Yeh, he was a major FA bust for the Giants back in the day and it pains me to see him in uniform again. He is doing rather well on top of that. Give it up to Josh Hamilton for being in the top 10 in hitting this spring.

28 (28) Kansas City Royals- There was a Hideo Nomo sighting in Arizona and it was good. Pitched 3IP and struck out 3. To go along with mentoring the young guys, he could win 10-12 with 150+ K’s. But this is spring training, aka the Disney World of sports where ANYTHING can happen.

29 (29) Florida Marlins- It seems Dan Uggla learned how to take a pitch this spring. I haven’t seen a lot of Ks out of him, which is good for Dews (who sniffs his jock strap just about any chance he gets) and bad for us (Those who repel every trade offer from Dews that includes Uggla).

30 (30) Baltimore Orioles- Dews may hate Spring Training, but Brian Roberts (5 SB) and Adam Jones (.500 AVG) should give him a big reason to smile. The pitching is working out their kinks (Loewen, 2IP, 2ks but managed to pitch his way out of a 2 on, 1 out jam). Hell, even Mora is doing well. That and the O’s are 4-3. Well done so far.


Jack Gonzo, MD said...

How you can honestly have the Giants ABOVE the A's after they were treated like an inmate on Oz is beyond me.

SayHey Kid said...

Because its Spring Training......I dont care if the A's pull a Wilt and drop 100 on the Giants. Unless there are significant acquisitions or injuries (or someone convinces me my pre-ST rankings should be revisited such as the Yanks and Jays) then they stay the same until Opening Day.