GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 13)
1. Rangers (6): The way skipper Ron Washington sees it, and he has 20-20 baseball vision, second baseman Ian Kinsler is to the Rangers what Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson was to the Yankees in the 1970s (according to Reggie): The straw that stirs the drink.
2. Athletics (1): Except for the steady work from closer Grant Balfour, the A’s bullpen has some issues that skipper Bob Melvin knows need to be fixed ASAP. One Doolittle is OK, but three do-littles are too many.
3. Diamondbacks (2): It is getting to be a familiar ring: closer Heath Bell getting his bell rung by another home run allowed. He had one dinger allowed in five consecutive games this past week.
4. Giants (3): As July approaches, the reigning World Series champs have two items at the top of their initial wish-list: 1) successfully defend their NL West title and 2) avoid playing the nemesis Marlins in the playoffs. Losing 9 straight home games to that bunch is amazing.
5. Padres (5): The Pads are one MLB team that wishes June would last forever, posting a glossy 9-3 record since June 9 and climbing into contending status in the parity-driven NL West — where playing .500 is regarded as a playoff pace.
6. Rockies (4): Kudos to the organization for staging a Heroes Softball game in Colorado Springs to raise money for local firefighters who, for the second straight year, are battling devastating forest fires. The Rockies’ recent five-game skid pales in comparison.
7. Angels (8): Super sophomore Mike Trout is a shoo-in to become the Angels’ first position player to start an All-Star Game since Vladimir Guerrero in 2007. But the big news is that Trout most likely will be the lowest-paid star in the Mid-summer Classic.
8. Dodgers (9): Big news out of LA: on Saturday night, right-hander Zack Greinke pitched eight innings against the Padres and (yippee!) did not hit anyone with any of his 111 pitches – not even Carlos Quentin. That might have precipitated another bench-clearing melee.
9. Mariners (7): Veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez was expected to be little more than a role player this season, but the 41-year-old has been handling the “leading role” duties during the team’s lackluster first half. And you got to like second baseman Nick Franklin, a breath of much-needed energy on the field.
10. Astros (10): The perennial cellar-dwellers in the GW Power Rankings are showing signs of improvement, although the win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win-loss week the team just went through is not the kind of dance skipper Bo Porter prefers.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)