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MLB Power Rankings: Angels, Mariners continue to fall

Jun 12, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

May 6, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) follows through on his swing for a single during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

30. Phillies – Hughes: (LW: 29) Finally, finally the Phillies look like they will trade Jonathan Papelbon. All kidding aside, he’s going to be a huge acquisition if a contender gets him.

29. Brewers – Hughes: (LW: 30) The worst team in baseball, the Brewers are already 16 1/2 games back in the NL Central!

28. Athletics – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) At this point, everyone’s just waiting for Billy Beane to start placing calls to his fellow GMs.

27. Marlins – Hughes: (LW: 28) Jose Fernandez looks like he will make his 2015 debut very soon. So much for the preseason expectation of him boosting a team in the thick of the playoff hunt.

26. Red Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 26) So it’s come to this: David Ortiz (.670 OPS) benched vs. lefties.

25. Diamondbacks – Hughes: (LW: 19) For all that was made about Yasmany Tomas not being ready, he looks pretty good with a .331 average and a .793 OPS.

24. Mariners – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Popular World Series by many experts (including yours truly) just hasn’t been able to get things going.

23. Indians – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Starting to dig out of their hole, but it’s a big hole. Maybe too big.

22. Rockies – Hughes: (LW: 24) Nolan Arenado is really turning into a fine young player. He is the game’s best defensive third baseman and hits for average and power.

21. Reds – Hughes: (LW: 25) Look who is back pitching with scoreless outings in seven of his last eight games: Ryan Mattheus.

20. White Sox – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Samardzija, Quintana and Danks collectively sport a 4.68 ERA. That’s not going to work.

19. Orioles – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Return of Matt Wieters is huge for them, brings not only his bat but sense of confidence behind the plate.

18. Braves – Hughes: (LW: 17) Shelby Miller has been great for the Braves, but Julio Teheran has not. Might be time to worry about the right-hander.

17. Padres – Hughes: (LW: 16) Much like Teheran, Andrew Cashner is struggling after being very consistent for several years. It’s not early anymore, either.

16. Angels – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Besides Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, nobody has an OPS over .724.

15. Tigers – Zuckerman: (LW: 15) Detroit has gone 12-18 over its last 30 games. That’s not an encouraging trend.

14. Blue Jays – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) We knew they could hit. Now they’re starting to pitch as well, giving them a shot.

13. Mets – Hughes: (LW: 9) Matt Harvey was tremendous when he first returned this season, but he’s been awful in his last four starts. Makes you appreciate how good Stephen Strasburg was in his first year back from Tommy John.

12. Rangers – Zuckerman: (LW: 14) Slowly but surely starting to look like a threat again in the AL West.

11. Rays – Zuckerman: (LW: 12) Chris Archer, folks. He’s really, really good.

10. Nationals – Hughes: (LW: 8) Losing Ryan Zimmerman to the DL is rough, especially with Werth already out. They need Anthony Rendon to start playing like he did last year.

9. Pirates – Hughes: (LW: 6) A.J. Burnett is an ageless wonder. He’s 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA at 38 years old.

8. Cubs – Hughes: (LW: 10) Well, look who finally found a home for the 2015 season. Something tells me Rafael Soriano gets the closer job and untucks a few times before this season is over.

7. Twins – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Served a little dose of reality this week when swept by the Royals.

6. Astros – Zuckerman: (LW: 2) The Carlos Correa Era begins, adding yet another young talent to a roster full of that.

5. Yankees – Zuckerman: (LW: 11) The Andrew Miller injury will really hurt them; besides Dellin Betances, that bullpen is shaky.

4. Giants – Hughes: (LW: 7) Looks like the Giants will break their streak of having down seasons in odd-years. They look scary.

3. Dodgers – Hughes: (LW: 3) Everyone focuses on Kershaw and Greinke, but the Dodgers’ rotation is looking quite deep with Brett Anderson, Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger.

2. Royals – Zuckerman: (LW: 5) Continue to prove last October was no fluke, and they’re going to make up the entire AL All-Star team because of it.

1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) Already a two-time All-Star, Jhonny Peralta is enjoying a career-year at age 33.

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    I’ve never fully understood what ‘power rankings’ are supposed to capture, but if this is supposed to be a snapshot of how teams are currently playing — right now, this week — then the Nats are ranked too high. I still believe the Nats have the potential to finish among the tops teams in baseball, but their play over the past week to 10 days does not qualify them for the top 10 (even if at #10).

  2. nataddicted - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Unrelated news out yesterday about the Nats spring training facility.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2015/06/11/florida-governor-signs-bill-to-clear-way-for-nationals-and-astros-new-spring-training-facility/

  3. nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    “1. Cardinals – Hughes: (LW: 1) Already a two-time All-Star, Jhonny Peralta is enjoying a career-year at age 33.”

    Test him for PEDs more often. Previous PED users like him rarely have career years at 33.

    • stoatva - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      srsly!

    • bowdenball - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      Sure they do. Nelson Cruz literally did this exact thing (career year at age 33 ) last year.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:58 PM

        +1

      • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM

        Again, that begs the question. Stop taking PEDs and the numbers improve as the player gets older.

        Do leopards change there spots?

      • bowdenball - Jun 12, 2015 at 3:00 PM

        Yeah, who knows if they’ve actually stopped. And there’s also the complicating factor that even if they have, the PEDs might have aided in their previous recoveries from injuries, or enhanced their weight room and offseason workouts in ways that may pay dividends years later. It’s a tangled web to be sure.

  4. stoatva - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    I hope and trust we will be seeing more regular appearances of the Anthony Rendon we know and love over the next week or so. Otherwise imma start to panic just a bit.

    Hey, tomorrow is Trea Day, right?

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Does that mean Turner is on a plane tonight, tomorrow morning or Sunday?

  5. stoatva - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    Checked in to see how Erik Davis, whom I like, is progressing down in Syracuse.

    Let’s pretend I didn’t. 😱

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    “@markasaxon says Jordan Zimmermann, along w/ Johnny Cueto & David Price, are atop Dodgers’ trade deadline wishlist. http://t.co/ke4Gi6P2hW

    I’m sure they would want JZim!!! Can’t have him!

    • masterfishkeeper - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:59 PM

      There’s a price for everything, but it would be very steep for the Nats to trade JZimm to the Dodgers, I’m sure.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:03 PM

        Joc Pedersen.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jun 12, 2015 at 3:27 PM

        Dream on. As much I’d like to see the Nats get him.

  7. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    Five teams make the playoffs in each league; This list ranks Nats sixth in the NL. Meaning they would have to either pass and stay ahead of the Mets or reel in both the Cubs and the Pirates. I think — really — all of the Mets’ tyro pitchers will run out of gas by September, but it looks like a real dog fight.

    • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 12, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      If for no reason other than Collins, desperate for wins at any price, will run up their pitch counts.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:02 PM

        What has happened with their six man rotation idea? Anyone know?

      • jd - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:05 PM

        Deuces,

        They shelved it for now. Gee is out of their rotation.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:34 PM

        jd, too bad. It was a ridiculous idea to reduce the the number of starts that DeGrom gets, so I was hoping they’d keep doing it.

      • jd - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        Deuces,

        I think it was designed more to reduce Harvey’s innings and to showcase both Niese and Gee.

      • bowdenball - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:38 PM

        Considering how Harvey has pitched I’m not so sure it was a ridiculous idea. They’re clearly pushing him too hard in his TJ recovery year.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:54 PM

        jd, I know the purpose was to protect Harvey. But the effect was to reduce DeGrom’s (and Niese’s and Colon’s) starts. That’s just dumb, for the same reason that it would be dumb for the Nats to have a six man rotation in order to let Roark start, thereby having Max and JZnn start less often.

      • Section 222 - Jun 12, 2015 at 3:01 PM

        bb, I’m not arguing with protecting Harvey, though the idea of stretching out starts in order to keep a TJ survivor going until the postseason is untested. But it’s dumb to protect Harvey at the expense of the team because your other good starters (particularly the stud DeGrom (and now Syndegaard) get to pitch less often. Give him three weeks off midseason like Pedro used to get with a phantom injury. Skip him in the rotation when off days allow it, limit him to four or five innings, or 90 pitches, or whatever. But keep running DeGrom out there every fifth day, if you want the Mets to win the East.

        If you want the Nats to win the East, then by all means come up with a plan that means DeGrom starts 27 games instead of 32.

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    They are calling Barrett injury a biceps strain. Carpenter in uniform.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    They are calling Barrett injury a biceps strain. Carpenter in uniform.

    • nats128 - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:50 PM

      I see James Wagner pointing to all the use of Barrett. Hopes that it is just a muscle that needs rest.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 12, 2015 at 2:54 PM

        Yes, hoping it’s a true muscle strain and not elbow ligament related.

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