Beyond Golf — 17 June 2013 by Jim Street
GW MLB West Power Rankings (Week 12)

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)
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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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