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MLB Power Rankings for April 25- 2007

Is it just me or have there been an awful lot more two-game series than normal this year? All in all, it seems there has been quite a bit more scrutiny about the scheduling than usual. If you’re looking for somebody to point a finger at, then take aim at Katy Feeney, a senior vice president for Major League Baseball who is in charge of the scheduling puzzle.

In terms of the rankings, the Mets hold on to their top slot and the Red Sox are still in second. The Braves and Brewers continue to march their way toward the top with impressive starts, while the Royals and Nationals look like they’re going to be in a season-long battle for the numero treinta.

In other news “Manny Being Manny” is just another way of describing the constant comedy of Ramirez’ play in the outfield; Alex Rodriguez might join the 600-homerun club this year; Torii Hunter could potentially be suspended for three years for a fairly minor rule violation; and both Mark Prior and Kerry Wood are injured, although that should go without saying.

Rank (Pv)
Team
Record
Comments
1 (1) 13-7
The Mets aren’t just winning, they’re destroying their opponents. They’ve given up only 69 runs (tied for 2nd best) and have scored 116 runs (2nd best), good for a run differential of +47. The next highest is +25 for the Padres.
2 (2) 12-7
Manny Ramirez might be the most entertaining player in the game today. He’s one of the best pure hitters we’ve ever seen and his antics in leftfield are monumental. Who can forget the diving cut-off of Damon’s throw from center, or last year’s flailing flip to Coco Crisp instead of tossing the ball into the infield on his own. And now, this year, his nine bounce groundball from leftfield into shallow center.
3 (5) 13-7
The Dodgers are tied for the best record in baseball and their average attendance of 47,632 is tops as well, up about 1,000 per game over last season. It looks like the all-you-can-eat buffet is doing it’s job.
4 (7) 13-7
Hard to believe, but Larry Wayne Jones (better known as Chipper) turned 35 on Tuesday. Jones has quietly put up a borderline Hall of Fame career, with almost 2,000 hits, over 1,200 RBI, and 363 homeruns. Although he has never lead the league in hitting, homeruns, or RBI, he has been a five-time All-Star and won the 1999 NL MVP.
5 (4) 8-11
Last week I mentioned that the Yankees’ pitching situation could mean an early call-up for phenom Phil Hughes. This week the Associated Press has reported that Hughes has been called up and will make his first career start on Thursday.
6 (3) 11-9
Gary Sheffield looks like a miserable acquisition at this point. He’s hitting just .149 and slugging .224, and worse, is that he’s struck out 16 times. He looked like a great fit for the strikeout-prone Tigers, but instead, he’s become as strike-out prone as the rest of the team. He’s on pace for 135 k’s, while his career high is 83.
7 (8) 12-8
Is it just me, or is Khalil Greene a dead-ringer for Sean Penn’s character Spicoli, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
8 (6) 11-9
Torii Hunter gives four bottles of Dom to the Kansas City Royals and then has to ask for it back. Maybe it’s against the rules, but that sounds awful nitpicky to me. The gesture was meant to be fun, and MLB’s reaction is a lot like the No Fun League’s reaction to Chad Johnson wearing “Ocho Cinco” on his jersey- a victimless crime intended for some fun and entertainment. Baseball, however, can’t afford the same strict regulations of fun that football can.
9 (9) 11-9
Oakland recorded an amazing stat on Tuesday, by recording a scoreless first inning for the 20th consecutive game to start the season, a Major League record. On the flip-side, the Washington Nationals are yet to score a run in the first inning all season.
10 (10) 10-10
Vlad shows just what he means to the rest of the Angels offense. Last week while he was injured the Halos were in the midst of a losing streak. Since he’s returned to the lineup they’ve won four out of their last five games, and Guerrero leads the team in hitting (.403), homeruns (5), RBI (18), and OPS (1.210). Last year he had the highest average in the league against left-handed pitching (.401).
11 (13) 13-7
I think I’ve said this before, but I am a big supporter of any team whose nickname has something to do with the production of beer.
12 (11) 10-10
Remember Josh Towers, the right-hander who went 2-10 last year with an 8.42 ERA? He’s back with the big club this year and he’s not throwing too bad. He’s only won one of his three starts, but his ERA is a respectable 3.44 and his 6.87 strikeouts per nine innings is higher than both Roy Halladay and AJ Burnett.
13 (15) 10-7
If you buy into the Pythagorean theorem of a team’s projected win-loss percentage, the Indians should have won 88-90 games last season. Instead, they won 78 games and finished fourth in the tough AL Central.
14 (12) 7-13
Stick a fork in him, he’s done. Mark Prior will have shoulder surgery and miss the entire 2007 season. He’s only 26, but if this most recent surgery doesn’t bring his velocity back up and solve his recurring arm troubles, it might be time to hang up the spikes and put his business degree to work. An interesting note on the troubled right-hander is that he was originally drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees, although he opted instead to go to Vanderbilt and eventually USC.
15 (16) 8-11
Don’t look now, but the Phillies have won four in a row and are climbing their way back toward .500.
16 (18) 11-8
Although Darren Erstad has admirably filled the Sox’ hole in center field, he probably should not be hitting in the two-spot, with an offense as potent as theirs. When you consider that the two-spot gets about 20 more at-bats in a season than the three-spot and the three-spot 20 more than the four and so on, it would make sense to get your big guns like Konerko, Thome, and Dye as many at-bats as possible. It might be worthwhile to consider moving Konerko or Thome up to the two-slot, although they don’t fit the prototypical two-hitter.
17 (14) 9-10
The Astros, much like the Athletics and Phillies in past seasons, have always seemed to be slow starters who pick up the pace later in the season, but right now, the `Stros are the coldest team in the game with a four game losing streak and the worst batting average in the NL (.236).
18 (17) 10-11
Jose Valverde might be the most unheard of closer in baseball. He has an ERA of 1.13, and he’s converted seven of eight save opportunities. His seven saves rank second in the league, and better than 20 teams combined (including the Yankees, who have the best closer ever and 0 saves).
19 (19) 8-11
After 8+ seasons as a relief pitcher, Braden Looper has adjusted incredibly to his new role as a starter. He is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts. However, it will be interesting to see how he holds up later in the year. With 26 innings, he is already just 60 innings shy of his career high.
20 (20) 6-9
The “Fire Bill Bavasi” campaign is heating up like a Gilbert Arenas hibachi. The three starting pitchers Bavasi acquired in the off-season (Haracio Ramirez, Miguel Batista, and Jeff Weaver) have a combined record of 2-6 and ERAs of 6.30, 8.83, and 13.91 respectively. I know it’s atypical to fire the general manager in the middle of the season, but I whole-heartedly think Bavasi’s personnel moves warrant his immediate dismissal. He got them into this mess, and I do not trust him to adequately get them out of it.
21 (21) 8-11
The Padilla Flotilla appears to be sinking. Vicente Padilla’s ERA is a stout 6.00 and he is winless in four starts. He had a couple good years with Philadelphia, but his ERA has hovered around 4.50 for the past three seasons.
22 (22) 10-10
Last year the Great American Ballpark was the best hitter’s park in the game, with a park rating of 1.153, up from 1.128 in 2005, when it was third. This year, it’s currently the fourth best hitters park, with a rating of 1.278.
23 (27) 10-8
It’s easy to forget how well Barry Bonds swung the bat last year, after struggling with injuries early. He lead the NL in hitting with runners in scoring position (.423). This year, he looks healthy, which is a scary thought for both opposing pitchers and sacred homerun records. At his current pace, he’ll break Henry Aaron’s record before the All-Star break.
24 (24) 9-11
No sophomore slump for former Red Sox prospect and last year’s Rookie of the Year, Hanley Ramirez. He’s hitting .388 (2nd in the league), slugging .657 (2nd), and leads the league in runs (22) and on-base percentage (.488).
25 (25) 9-11
The Devil Rays score a lot of runs, but they give up even more. Closer Al Reyes has an ERA of 1.80, but no other Tampa Bay pitcher has an ERA under 4.40. However, the Rays can bask in the glow of avoiding the cellar of the AL East for at least a day or two. The Yankees are in last place for only the second time in the Joe Torre era.
26 (26) 11-9
The Orioles have been twice blessed with shortstops who show up to work day-in and day-out. Obviously Ripken’s record will stand for generations to come, but Miguel Tejada is working his way up the ranks of the consecutive games list with 1,100, tops amongst active players.
27 (23) 9-13
Last year, three young hitters gave hope to a franchise that has only made the playoffs once in its entire existence. This year, however, Brad Hawpe and Garrett Atkins are both hitting under .260 and two homeruns combined. On the other hand, Matt Holliday is leading the NL, hitting .388 and leading the Rockies with 11 RBI.
28 (28) 8-10
Despite a couple rough outings, Salomon Torres has adapted to the closer’s role admirably. He’s converted six of eight save opportunities. The rubber-armed Dominican has thrown 90+ innings of relief for each of the past three seasons.
29 (29) 6-14
The Nationals are seriously missing their best player Nick Johnson, who is still recovering from a badly broken leg he suffered last season. There really is no accurate timetable for his return, although he mentioned it could be as late as June. Johnson has a career on-base percentage of .395.
30 (30) 6-14
The Royals have a payroll of $67 million, 22nd in the league. Their payroll isn’t so bare-bottom that they shouldn’t be able to compete, but their money is poorly spent: Mike Sweeney ($11 million) hit .258 in 60 games last year and is hitting .255 this year in 16 games; Odalis Perez ($7.75 million) had an ERA of 6.20 last year and is weighing in at 8.64 this year; and Jason LaRue ($5.5 million) has a career average of .238 and is currently slumping badly with a .138 average and just 2 RBI.

9 replies on “MLB Power Rankings for April 25- 2007”

Good Rankings As Always You have my vote……..however I cannot see how you can possibly include the Yankees in the top five.  They just got swept by the Devil Rays.  They are in last place in their division.  Their starting pitching is a complete joke.  Phillip Hughes will be the fifth rookie to take the ball for them this year.  The last team to start five rookies in a season were the 1998 Marlins and they lost 108 games.  No way can they be objectively ranked ahead of the Angels, Athletics, Tigers, White Sox and Indians.

Two game series You are absolutely right. I was noticing that too. The schedulers are using them to set up big matchups at big times, like the two yanks sox weekend series in a row had to include a two game series for both during the week.

Good job on the rankings.

woah what about giving the Giants a little love? I believe when you wrote this they had won 6 in a row. And you still had them ranked 23rd in the league? Way too much east coast bias.

And the Brewers too… Come on man…they’re tied for the 2nd best record in the National League, and they’re lower then the LAST PLACE Yankees?

NO the giants are overachieving…they actually just lost their 8 game winning streak but listing them as the 23rd team in the MLB is generous at best…it just might take other people longer to realize it…im sure they’ll prove me right come summertime.

No love for the Pirates? After winning five in a row? After being over .500 this late in the season for the first time in forever? Are you kidding?

Actually I am. Like the two Asian fellows who worked the grounds crew for the Indians in Major League..”They’re still shitty.”

Rankings A lot of my rankings are based on not jumping the gun on a team that might have a short burst of winning- I know that if you look at ESPNs rankings they will boost anybody who has won five games in a row into the top ten- I remember seeing the Mariners in the top 10 at one point last year, which is ridiculous.

So, in reponse to the teams that were pointed out…

The Brewers- I think the Brewers can be very good, Ive been saying it all year- the only thing that is keeping them out of the top ten is their history of losing (they haven’t been above .500 since 1992).

The Yankees- likewise the only thing that is keeping them in the top 10 is their history of winning- they still have a ton of talent- most of their players are severely underachieving. Steinbrenner and Cashman have a proven history of doing whatever it takes to ensure New York is still playing baseball in October.

The Giants- I’m simply not buying that the Giants are as good as the team that won 8 in a row- time might show me to be an idiot, but then again, they might just be another team that got hot for a stretch and had everybody and their mothers jumping on a bandwagon. Time will tell.

And the Pirates- Sorry RJ, they still get no love.

And in all honesty- I spend so much time writing the comments that it’s possible I could have overlooked where a team should be ranked.

I see… I agree with you about not wanting to jump quick on teams that have a burst out of the gate, but..talented or not, a team thats under 500 doesn’t belong ahead of any team that’s over 500.

This isn’t about history, this is about who’s good now. My suggestion is a formula. That’s what I used. If you want me to, I could whip one up for ya.

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