Thursday May 6th, 2010

MLB Power Rankings
11New York Mets
Last Week: 8
The Mets showed no fight after falling behind early in a pair of weekend games against the Phillies. Their no-show on Saturday might be excusable, as they faced the incomparable Roy Halladay, but on Sunday, New York didn't even manage a hit off the very hittable Jamie Moyer (off whom they had already plated five runs) or the bullpen over the last five innings. In the Mets' 15 wins, they've only trailed for a total of seven innings and never by more than two runs, indicating a weak offense behind some overachieving starting pitching.
 
12Colorado Rockies
Last Week: 11
Yes, Ubaldo Jimenez is a major-league leading 6-0 and has a 0.87 ERA. He's thrown a no-hitter and has a tremendous K/9 rate for a starter, with a 9.6. But here's something maybe even more impressive for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home; he hasn't given up a home run yet, in 41 1/3 innings.
 
13Washington Nationals
Last Week: 14
Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, 38 going on his 20-something prime, continues to hit seemingly everything in sight, as he's batting an NL-best .405 (30-for-74) with only four walks. But he's actually been more patient at the plate to this point, swinging only at 51.0 percent of pitches, the lowest rate since 2002, the first year for which Baseball Info Solutions has posted such data on the site, FanGraphs.com. He's also maintained his exemplary defense, having allowed just two steals in -- and this is the ultimate sign of respect -- only four attempts.
 
14Florida Marlins
Last Week: 16
How rare are complete games becoming? Only 24 have been thrown all season; only three pitchers have at least two; and only one team in the majors has a rotation in which three starters have gone the distance, the Marlins, with CGs from Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Chris Volstad.
 
15Arizona Diamondbacks
Last Week: 17
So much gets made of the power in the Phillies' infield that it's easy to overlook everyone else's dirt fielders, but the Diamondbacks, thanks primarily to Kelly Johnson and Mark Reynolds, lead all NL infielders with 30 home runs, 99 RBIs, a .373 OBP and a .530 SLG. (Note: Baseball-reference.com includes catchers in that infield stat, so Chris Snyder -- who has five homers, a .402 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging percentage -- should get his props too.)
 
16Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 21
The Reds are the anti-Mets. While New York, as documented above, hasn't shown an ability to make comebacks, Cincinnati has won nine of its 14 games in the final at bat, including two home runs in extra innings to beat Mets this week. Laynce Nix homered in the 11th on Monday, and Orlando Cabrera homered in the 10th on Wednesday. The Reds are 4-0 in extra innings and 7-4 in one-run games.
 
17Chicago Cubs
Last Week: 19
It's a good thing Kosuke Fukudome is producing at the plate, with five homers, a .321 average and a .415 OBP, because Ultimate Zone Rating ranks him as baseball's sixth-worst outfielder, having already cost the Cubs 4.8 runs in right field. And everyone thought Alfonso Soriano was bad in left. (He is, but only -0.3 runs bad.)
 
18Texas Rangers
Last Week: 23
One game over .500 is good enough for first place in the AL West at this juncture in time, so Texas, at 14-14, is only a half-step behind the admittedly slow pace being set by the A's. The Rangers' starters are largely to credit, particularly reliever-turned-starter C.J. Wilson (2-1, 1.65 ERA in five starts), who is also an active Tweeter.
 
19Boston Red Sox
Last Week: 13
Run prevention, eh? Boston's offseason modus operandi -- building a team on pitching and defense -- has been an early failure, due to injuries to good defensive outfielders Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury, subpar pitching and inconsistent play even from the defensive specialists like third baseman Adrian Beltre. Through Tuesday the Red Sox had allowed 143 runs, second most in the AL, but take away their own 17-8 bashing of the Angels on Monday, and those two clubs were tied for first. Boston's rebound against Los Angeles has been admirable, but there's an automatic deduction for getting swept by Baltimore.
 
20Los Angeles Angels
Last Week: 10
When John Lackey departed in free agency, the Angels lost their best starter -- this, everyone knew. But most expected free-agent acquisition Joel Piñeiro, newly healthy Ervin Santana and the several incumbents (Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir) would still be a formidable rotation entirely of guys who'd be Nos. 2 and 3 on most staffs. Instead, Weaver has been pretty good (3-1, 3.19 ERA) and the other four have been terrible (6-12, 5.36) as the Angels rank last in the AL in ERA.
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