The second week of Call to the Pen’s Power Pulse sees the Texas Rangers falling and the Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds streaking. We also see things tightening at the top between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. As always feedback is appreciated, tell me why you think your team should be slotted where.
Rankings After the Jump
1. New York Yankees (Last Week #1) ( 75-46) – The Rays actually tied the Yankees for first in American League East but currently lead by a half a game. The Yankees are riding a three game winning streak which was just enough to keep them at the top of our Power Rankings. Andrew Corselli of Yanks Go Yard discusses whether or not it is appropriate to boo Johnny Damon.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (Last Week #2) (74-46) – Tampa caught the Yankees and now sit only a half a game behind them in the American League East. They are riding a five game win streak and look poised to take over the top spot soon.
3. San Diego Padres (Last Week #3) ( 73-47) - I keep trying to bury this team but they won’t go away. Just when I think it is time to knock them down a slot or two they go on a five game win streak. They have also won 9 of their last 10 to open up a six game lead in the National League West. They aren’t going away anytime soon. Nathaniel Stoltz of Chicken Friars is counting down the top 100 prospects of the San Diego Padres.
4. Minnesota Twins (Last Week #6) (70-50) – The Twins jump into the top five riding a six game winning streak into a five game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the Central Division. They are red hot having won nine of their last ten games. Erin at Twinkie Talk discusses the Twins Draft History throughout the years in an extensive article.
5. Atlanta Braves (Last Week #5) (71-50) – The Braves have won seven of their past ten to maintain their two game lead over the Phillies in the East. They are slowly but surely getting healthier as Martin Prado has returned and Eric O’Flaherty is on the way. Also the Braves traded for Derek Lee to bolster their lineup in an effort to hold onto the division lead.
6. Texas Rangers (Last Week #4) (67-53) - The Rangers slip from 4th in the rankings last week to 6th this week due to a four game losing streak. The streak hasn’t hurt their standing in the AL West as they still lead the division by 7.5 games. Brandon Wolfe from Nolan Writin’ gives an update on the Rangers for the last week.
7. Philadelphia Phillies (Last Week #9) (68-52) – The Phillies move up two spots this week and remain right on the Braves heels in the NL East. They have won seven of their last ten and slowly but surely are getting healthy with Victorino back and Utley and Howard soon to follow. That Balls Outta Here lead blogger Justin Klugh writes about the Phillies thoughts on the wild card.
8. Cincinnati Reds (Last Week #11) (69-51) – I owe the Reds an apology as I thought they were done after they were swept by the Cardinals last week. All they have done since is rip off five wins in a row to take a three game lead over the Cardinals in the Central Division. Tim Grimes of Blog Red Machine discusses the Reds decision to drop Mike Leake from the starting rotation.
9. Boston Red Sox (Last Week #7) (69-52) – The Red Sox didn’t have a terrible week but dropped two spots due to some other teams playing really well. They are still a distant third in the AL East behind the Yankees and the Rays. Brian Phair of BoSox Injection writes that Dustin Pedroia was scratched from the Sox lineup on Thursday with soreness in his foot.
10. San Francisco Giants (Last Week #8) (68-54) – The Giants are cruising along but the problem is the Padres are streaking and therefore the deficit in the NL West is growing. Bryan of Frisco Fastball has a nice tribute article to Giants Legend Bobby Thompson who passed away this week.
11. St Louis Cardinals (Last Week #10) (65-53) – The Cardinals made me look bad after I predicted the demise of the Reds so they are lucky I didn’t bury them deeper in the standings. Still I believe in LaRussa, Wainwright, and Pujols so they only dropped one spot this week despite now trailing the Reds by three whole games. Ryan Gery of Redbird Rants discusses the Cards restocking of their farm system.
12. Toronto Blue Jays (Last Week #13) (63-57) – How good would this Blue Jays team be if they didn’t have to play the majority of their games against the American League East? Just think, they are in fourth place and currently five games over .500 for the season. Mat Germain of Jays Journal also discusses the Jays 2010 amateur draft.
13. Colorado Rockies (Last Week # 14) (62-57) – The Rockies moved up a spot in the Power Rankings by pushing themselves to a 62-57 record for the season. They still trail the Padres by 10.5 games. Alex Barnes of RoxPile discusses Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe and whether or not he has a future in Colorado. (Barnes was onto something as Hawpe was designated for assignment by the Rockies)
14. Chicago White Sox (Last Week #12) (65-55) – The Sox are in full free fall mode having dropped their last five games in a row and eight of their last ten. They drop only two spots in the Power Rankings but threaten to drop even further if they don’t turn it around this week. Rob Sesso of Southside Showdown writes that the next two series for the Sox will tell the tale of their season.
15. Florida Marlins (Last Week #19) (60-60) – The Marlins jump up four spots to the 15th spot after winning three in a row. The Marlins also reached the .500 mark at 60-60 on the season. Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac analyzes outfielder Cody Ross’ need for power.
16. Oakland Athletics (Last Week #17) (59-60) – The A’s move up a spot in the weekly power rankings but hardly moved at all in the AL West standings even with Texas’ recent struggles. Swingin A’s blogger Joseph Lopez is already looking towards the off season and the several player options the A’s have.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (Last Week #15) (61-60) – The Dodgers lost three out of four to the Braves and have fallen 12.5 behind the Padres. They have now moved to fourth in the division behind the Rockies and the Giants. They are going to need a turnaround very quickly. Anuj Agarwal talks about the Dodgers signing of their first round pick Zach Lee.
18. Los Angeles Angels (Last Week #16) (60-61) – See the A’s above. Despite the Rangers recent struggles and the acquisition of Dan Haren, the Angels haven’t been able to make up any ground in the AL West and now sit with a 60-61 record 7.5 games out. Thus the reasoning in them dropping two spots in this week’s rankings. Halo Hangout blogger Nate Proctor looks at some former Angels and how they are doing for their new club.
19. New York Mets (Last Week #20) (60-60) – In spite of all the turbulence coming from the K-Rod saga, the Mets actually moved up a spot in this week’s rankings. Brandon Butler of Rising Apple fills us in on the entire K-Rod situation.
20. Detroit Tigers (Last Week #18) (58-63) – After hanging in the AL Central race for much of the season, The Tigers are slipping away in the summer heat. They have lost three in a row and six of their last ten to fall 12.5 games back of the Twins. As Motor City Bengals Blogger John Parent writes, the Tigers bullpen has been a lot of the problem.
21. Milwaukee Brewers (Last Week #21) (57-64) – The Brew Crew maintain their spot at #21 this week in large part to a modest two game winning streak and a .500 record over their last ten games.
22. Houston Astros (Last Week #23) (52-67) – The Astros move up one spot this week and continue to play better baseball in the second half of the 2010 season. Climbing Tal’s Hill blogger Evan Riney discusses the career of Brett Myers who recently signed an extension with the Astros.
23. Kansas City Royals (Last Week #24) (51-69) – The Royals are quietly riding a three game winning streak that has Kings of Kaufman blogger Michael Engel wondering if there is something to the Royals youth movement afterall.
24. Washington Nationals (Last Week #22) (52-69) – The Nationals salvaged one game with the Atlanta Braves and slipped two spots in this week’s rankings. All eyes are now on Washington to see when they will pull the plug on Stephen Strasburg for the 2010 season. Jeremy Stewart of Teddy Never Wins talks about Josh Willingham’s season ending knee surgery.
25. Seattle Mariners (Last Week #29) (48-73) – New manager and seven wins in their last ten games equals out to a four spot jump in our rankings.
27. Chicago Cubs (Last Week #26) (50-72) – The Cubs are in full fire sale mode as they traded First baseman Derek Lee to the Atlanta Braves this week for three low level minor league pitchers. Jordan Campbell of Cubbies Crib discusses who is going to play first in the Windy City now that Lee is in Atlanta.
29. Baltimore Orioles (Last Week #28) (43-79) – In the wake of Buck Showalter’s hiring the Orioles went on a tear. They seem now to have settled back down having played .500 baseball in their last ten games. Dan Soderberg of Birds Watcher revisits the Aubrey Huff trade.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (Last Week #30) (40-81) – The Pirates slide deeper into the Power Rankings cellar by losing nine of their last ten games and by becoming the first team in the Major Leagues to lose 80 games this season.