The Call to the Pen: May 9th, 2016

Welcome back to The Call to the Pen! Great week across the board for baseball. Yoenis Cespedes SMASHED a 475 foot bomb against the Phillies Friday night and Bartolo Colon smacked his first career home run. Let’s get to the Power Rankings…

Power Rankings

The Bottom:

30) Atlanta Braves (7-23): Even
29) Minnesota Twins (8-23): Even
28) Cincinnati Reds (13-19): Down 2
27) New York Yankees (11-18): Down 2

26) San Diego Padres (13-19): Up 2
25) Milwaukee Brewers (13-18): Up 2

24) Houston Astros (12-20): Even
23) LA Angels of Anaheim (13-18): Down 3
22) Oakland Athletics (14-18): Down 4
21) Arizona Diamondbacks (15-18): Up 1

It looks like the Yankees and Astros poor starts are more than just temporary. Both teams had around .500 weeks along with the Padres, Brewers, and Reds which caused a bit of a stir in the Bottom. The Brewers are an interesting team to look at. Ryan Braun is tearing it up currently and is surging the Brewers to scoring 143 runs (T-8th with Texas). However, they’ve let up the league’s second-worse 183 runs. The NL Central is tough division to call home right now. The Angels and A’s fall into the Bottom after both teams went 1-5 this past week.

The Middle:

20) Detroit Tigers (14-16): Down 7
19) Tampa Bay Rays (15-14): Up 2
18) Colorado Rockies (15-16): Up 1
17) Miami Marlins (16-14): Up 6
16) Philadelphia Phillies (18-14): Even
15) Toronto Blue Jays (16-17): Even
14) Kansas City Royals (15-15): Down 3
13) LA Dodgers (16-15): Down 1
12) Cleveland Indians (15-13): Up 5
11) San Francisco Giants (17-16): Down 1

Miami had another red hot week despite the loss of Dee Gordon and now sits in the middle of the pack. I gave the Phillies the edge because of their series win over Miami this past weekend. The Tigers went 0-for-6 this week and went from being of the hotter teams in the majors to one of the coldest. The AL Central has been going in the opposite direction of where most thought they would be: the Royals defense is faltering and the Indians seem to be the “Windians” again. Cleveland bounced back from 1-5 two weeks ago to 5-1 this week, taking over the AL Central lead from KC. The NL West continues to be wild as well as the Dodgers, Giants, and Rockies all seem to be jockeying for 1st and floating around .500.

The Top:

10) St. Louis Cardinals (16-16): Down 1
9) Pittsburgh Pirates (17-14): Down 3 
8) Texas Rangers (18-14): Down 1
7) Seattle Mariners (18-13): Up 7
6) Baltimore Orioles (18-12): Up 2
5) Boston Red Sox (18-13): Even

4) Washington Nationals (19-12): Even
3) New York Mets (19-11): Down 1
2) Chicago White Sox (22-10): Up 1 
1) Chicago Cubs (24-6): Even

The Mariners are finally coming together since their stock shot up when they signed Robinson Cano prior to the 2014 season. Cano has been one the hottest hitters in baseball and their pitching staff is blossoming into one of the better staffs statistically. Although they went 2-4, the Pirates had a pretty good week all things considered: three of the losses came at the hands of the Cubs and they took two of three IN St. Louis. The Orioles and Red Sox are proving their great starts aren’t flukes as Boston took two of three from the White Sox and Baltimore has one of the better power offenses in the league. The Nats stayed at 4th despite getting swept by the Cubbies because of how close they ran with Chicago. The Mets now lead the NL East and are getting help from all places offensively (BARTOLO!) but the Nationals are still truly one of the better teams around. The White Sox continue to amaze but the Cubs absolutely own Chicago. The Cubbies 7-0 week was dominant as they scored at four runs in all seven games and at least seven runs in four of them. Crazy enough, the Cardinals are still within single digits of the Cubs’ league-leading offense, but the pitching staff continues to shine at Wrigley; even if Jake Arrieta has a mediocre start like yesterday.

All Star Votes:

May8 ASG Picks

Phillies Update:

A 3-4 week for the Phillies was more of what was expected from the Phils coming into this year. Late inning failures and heroics were the theme this past week as we had both blown saves from the bullpen and clutch hitting from the likes of Tyler Goeddel. Interestingly enough, the 4-0 loss last Thursday was the first time in 2016 that the Phillies were shutout. Going forward, it looks like the Phillies bats will remain subpar and the wins and losses will come from the arms of the bullpen staff. The starting pitching outside of Jeremy Hellickson has been fun to watch as they all are figuring out what it takes in the Bigs. This week, the Phillies travel to Atlanta for three-game set with the Braves before returning home this weekend looking to avenge the opening series sweep the Reds handed them.

Disagree with the Rankings? How about my All Star votes? Let me know in the comments

(cover photo via)

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