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MLB Power Rankings: Nats, Giants are slipping

Jun 19, 2015, 11:42 AM EDT

Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants designated hitter Buster Posey (28) and center fielder Angel Pagan (16) return to the dugout after each scored a run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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


30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) They can’t even use their bullpen phone properly. What else is there to say?

29. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) Here’s hoping Uecker is OK after suffering concussion.

28. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 28) Watch Billy Beane trade all his stars for prospects and then be right back in the division race next season.

27. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 26) In 2011 it was fried chicken and beer. In 2015 it’s liking pictures of Instagram models. Gotta be careful, Pablo.

26. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) Redmond: .421 winning percentage. Jennings: .433 winning percentage. Not much difference.

25. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Arenado is a legit budding star.

24. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 20) Rock bottom is rapidly approaching as the White Sox have dropped seven straight.

23. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 24) Kyle Seager is really returning to form, so Seattle has to be encouraged by that.

22. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 21) Need to start trading guys like Chapman, Frazier sooner rather than later.

21. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 17) Bud Black deserved better. Wasn’t his fault team hasn’t taken off yet.

20. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 23) Michael Bourn has a .664 OPS in three seasons since signing with Cleveland. The Nats were smart for passing.

19. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 18) Bad division leaves them within reach, but tough to see it happening.

18. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 25) Quietly playing a whole lot better than most realize. Goldschmidt is a legit MVP candidate.

17. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 16) Hey guys, you’re making my World Series pick look really stupid right now. Yes, this is about me.

16. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Teetering on the brink of disaster, they’ve got to right the ship. Now.

15. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 19) The ol’ leave the visitors bullpen phone off the hook trick, eh? Nice.

14. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 15) 25-year-old infielder Jose Iglesias is thriving with a .333 batting average after missing all of 2014 with stress fractures in both of his shins.

13. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Nats are trying to give them a chance to seize the division, but they’re not seizing it yet.

12. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 14) The Blue Jays are reportedly scouting Jonathan Papelbon… again. Just trade for him already.

11. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) Holes starting to emerge in defending champs’ roster.

10. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 12) Texas just called up prospect Rougned Odor again. We’ll see if he can improve on his .180 average this season.

9. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 7) When they lost seven of eight earlier this month I thought it was starting to slip away, but then they won two straight against the Cardinals.


8. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 5) Reliever Dellin Betances (0.26 ERA in 31 G) is 6-foot-8, 260 pounds and has a fastball that averages over 96 miles per hour. Yeah, that’s not intimidating.

7. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) What a luxury to be able to call up a kid like Schwarber just to DH for a couple days.

6. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 11) The average baseball fan wouldn’t recognize most of the names in their lineup, but this team looks very good.

5. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) For all the attention Kershaw gets, Greinke has been fantastic since coming to L.A.

4. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 6) Former No. 1 pick Carlos Correa became the second-youngest player in 100 years to steal three bases in one game this week. Rickey was the youngest.

3. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 9) There’s no better 1-2-3 in baseball right now than Cole-Liriano-Burnett.

2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) Sounds like MLB finally fixed the glitch on All-Star voting after finding 65 million false ballots. Nice try, Royals fans.

1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Despite all the injuries, they just keeping hacking away. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)


  1. Ellie - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    I hope that in some future season, the Cardinals end up listed at number 30 week after week. I am so sick of seeing those dirty cheaters at the top of the list all the time.

    • scmargenau - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:26 PM


      • ArVAFan - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:57 PM

        OK, hackers.

  2. nats128 - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    A 3 game series this weekend against the hottest team in baseball bringing in there 7 game winning streak! Wonderful timing.

    Why couldnt the Nats play the Pirates in early April when McCutcheon was batting .150

    • Ellie - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      I dunno, it might work out in some weird kind of way – the Nats went to Cincinnati when the Reds were in a tailspin and got swept, so maybe this will be the opposite.

      • bowdenball - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:59 PM

        We also avoid Gerrit Cole, so the breaks aren’t all bad.

    • jd - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:59 AM

      Doesn’t matter. If we play the way we’ve been playing it’s be a challenge beating anyone.

      • bowdenball - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:23 PM

        Unfortunately I have a feeling that when the lineups come out it will be as much a about who we’re playing as the way we’re playing. The current Washington Nationals are not the Washington Nationals that were projected as the NL favorites. They’re probably going to have either a career minor league journeyman or a catcher batting .261/.286/.412 in the cleanup spot tonight. That is not good.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      At least it’s here, not there. Their 7-game winning streak is here, too, but maybe that’s all they’re going to get?

      • natsfan1a - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:39 PM

        Hurdle didn’t promise them a Babe Ruth impression, right?

    • scmargenau - Jun 19, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      Whatever. Just avoid good competition and hope to limp into the playoffs and then hope for the weakest opponent.

      Utter bs – if we are contenders we need play like it. We need to plan on beating the best teams. It’s how u get better. Right now this list is who we are. Lower middle of the pack. Blame bad coaching, management and the failure to do anything but status quo

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Erick Fedde, the Nats’ 2014 first-round pick who is back from Tommy John surgery, will begin the season at short-season Auburn.

    • Danny - Jun 19, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      When is he slated to pitch?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:40 PM

        He’s been throwing off the mound since April and should be in a game within this week.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 19, 2015 at 12:05 PM

      Rizzo has guts going out and getting these TJ guys. I heard Giolito was scuffling a bit with the P-Nats this year. Hope that’s just adjustment-based. There’s a lot of eggs in that basket.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:23 PM

        That’d be a great nickname for him, though — “Eggs” Giolito.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:39 PM

        “Eggs” Giolito, bringing home the bacon. Oh, yeah…

      • jd - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:53 PM


        Actually Giolito is doing very well in Potomac. 11.7 to 2.75 K to BB ratio.His ERA is higher than it should be but only because of a ridiculous BABIP of .422.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:58 PM

        It’s A ball. Not all stats make sense and Giolito’s is a combination of factors such as defense, field conditions, lack of scouting, and yes, some of his own command issues and refinement of his secondary pitches.

        In his last start there was bases loaded and no outs and he struck out the next 3 batters.

        His K/BB which he controls is 57/12 and ZERO HRs. That’s what the scouts salivate over.

      • nats128 - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:14 PM

        “jd – Jun 19, 2015 at 1:53 PM
        His ERA is higher than it should be but only because of a ridiculous BABIP of .422.”

        Ted Williams would own that BABIP!

      • jd - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM

        Exactly ghost. I think they’l find out very quickly that he’s too good for that level. He pitched around 100 innings last year so if we assume about 125 – 130 innings this year he is already a third of the way there. I’m thinking he gets at least a taste of AA this summer.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2015 at 2:35 PM

        I just saw that your were posting as I was responding. Yes, nobody has a BABIP like that without knowing much of it can be discounted.

        Some would say pitchers can’t always control HRs as wind and heat play a big factor but I still give Giolito credit for that BB/K and HR/AB which rank near the best in the Minors.

        Giolito is working on his craft and his arsenal and nobody is changing their projections!

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM

        Or as they say in Venezuela, “Huevón” Giolito.

  4. exposremains - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:04 PM

    no Harper tonight against the true best rotation in baseball. That should be good.

    • nats128 - Jun 19, 2015 at 3:22 PM

      Didn’t expect him tonight but what about tomorrow afternoon





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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