GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 12)
1. Athletics (1): Ace right-hander Bartolo Colon (9-2) is a solid All-Star candidate, but whether he does or not could depend on the ongoing PED investigation.
2. Diamondbacks (2): All of the inquiring minds in MLB want to know: Is Ian Kennedy really a head-hunter, as demonstrated in his start against the Dodgers? Or did the pitches just slip out of his hand? You be the judge.
3. Giants (4): It might be one of those obscure MLB records: Two teammates sidelined at the same time because of injured pinkies. Right-handed starter Ryan Vogelsong has a fractured right pinkie while second baseman Marco Scutaro has been idled since last Tuesday because of an injured left pinkie.
4. Rockies (5): Prior to his latest injury, a broken right rib that will keep him out of action for four to six weeks, the odd-numbered years were his healthiest and most productive for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. This is a tough, tough break for Tulo and the Rockies.
5. Padres (7): The best 11-game stretch of the season (9-2) catapulted the previously woebegone Pads to within three games of first place in the tightly-contested NL West, aka MLB’s Brawl Division, and their highest ranking of the season.
6. Rangers (3): Rookie Jurickson Profar did such a terrific job replacing injured Ian Kinsler at second base that it was a no-brainer to keep the kid on the 25-man roster when Kinsler returned. But most of the team has gone south lately, especially during a rare four-game sweep handed them by the Blue Jays.
7. Mariners (9): It’s early, but Mike Zunino has the potential to become the best all-around catcher in franchise history, developing into a Dan Wilson-like receiver with more power. And speaking of catchers with power, here is a GW tip of the hat to Henry Blanco, for his first grand slam in the past 13 years.
8. Angels (6): The baseball gods are punishing management for the dumb idea of moving the press box for print media from behind home plate to a place so far removed from the game-action that they must watch the games on TV.
9. Dodgers (8): The grossly overpaid club is last in the NL West but first in brawls. They duked it out with the Padres earlier this season and went at it again last week against the Diamondbacks. So, who’s next – the Giants or Rockies?
10. Astros (10): Fingers are crossed that first-round draft choice Mark Appel will develop at the same pace right-hander Gerrit Cole did with the Pirates – going from No. 1 draft pick to the big-leagues in less than two seasons.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)