GW’s MLB West Power Rankings (Week 18)
1. Athletics (1): How cool was it to watch the AL West leaders trot out onto the field on Saturday afternoon wearing the replica “softball” uniforms, circa 1969? The foundation for a dynasty that occurred between 1971 and ‘76 was in place.
2. Dodgers (2): Rookie pitcher sensation Hyun-Jin Ryu is just one of the reasons the Dodgers have risen from the NL West ashes and soared to the top of the division standings. It sure looks like the
playoffs will be returning to Dodger Stadium this fall.
3. Diamondbacks (4): Who can blame the organization and players involved for being absolutely furious with the Brewers’ banished cheater Ryan Braun for finally admitting he was “juiced” during the 2011 NL Playoffs. The worst punishment Braun can get, though, is living the rest of his life as Ryan Braun.
4. Rangers (3): Landing veteran pitcher Matt Garza for practically nothing puts another feather in GM Jon Daniels’ baseball cap, but about that Rangers’ hit-and-miss offense. That, surprisingly, could be Texas’ Achilles heel in ’13.
5. Mariners (6): The internal tug-of-war that has to be gnawing at GM Jack Zduriencik heading into Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline figures to intensify this week when the team takes on the Red Sox at Fenway. Keeping the current roster in place for a few more weeks might not be a bad idea.
6. Rockies (7): As Major League debuts go, right-hander Collin McHugh had one that he would just as soon toss into a trash can. Six runs in three innings is not what either he or skipper Walt Weiss had in mind.
7. Angels (8): Just when Albert Pujols gets on a hot streak — he was 12-for-34 with two home runs since the All-Star break — his ailing left foot gets worse, forcing him out of a game against the A’s after turning what should have been a two-run double into a two-run single. He’s now on the 15-day disabled list but could miss much more time than just two weeks.
8. Padres (9): As a former big-league starting pitcher, skipper Bud Black knows the importance of having some innings-eaters in the rotation. It is especially disconcerting when he must summons a reliever so early in a game. Get this. The ‘pen has been called on prior to the fifth inning a staggering 22 percent of the time.
9. Giants (5): The so-called “June Swoon” that knocked the reigning World Series champions down a few notches continued into July and there are no signs that the team-wide slump will end anytime soon.
10. Astros (10): It isn’t easy being the closer on the worst team in the big-leagues, so here’s a tip of the GW baseball cap to Jose Veras, who has converted his last 11 save opportunities, including a five-out save against the Blue Jays.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)