MLB Power Rankings | Week 7

With interleague play once again rearing its ugly head into the baseball scene this weekend, our rankings delve into the rivalries -- or atrocities, in the case of Colorado vs. Kansas City -- to uncover some noteworthy nuggets.

The Boston Red Sox hold a commanding 10-game lead in the American League East, while the trailing four teams wither away in the lower third of our power rankings. To put that remarkable separation in perspective, the last-place Colorado Rockies are only eight games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the cluttered wild, wild National League West.

Meanwhile the Philadelphia Phillies -- this column's pick to win the NL East -- and the Minnesota Twins are going in opposite directions in the standings. While the Phils can thank a savvy pitching move, the Twinkies have a former Giant to blame for their demise, and, no, it's not Joe Nathan.

Another former Giant has resurfaced, this time in South Beach, as the Florida Marlins have dipped into the waiver wire to tab a recently released Giant dud prospect.

More cheap shots, deep thoughts, and three-dot anecdotes surface in this week's installment of's Power Rankings (records and stats through May 18):

Team (W-L, LW Rk)
Boston Red Sox

(28-12, 1)

The only wrinkle so far in the BoSox's sensational start to the season? Josh Beckett was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to the skin tear on his right middle finger. The team expects that he will miss the minimum amount of time, skipping just two starts before returning against the Indians on May 29. Beckett remains the only seven-game winner in baseball.

New York Mets

(27-14, 5)

It was just a matter of time; former Giant Moises Alou was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled left quad. Because Alou hasn't played since May 12, he is eligible to be reinstated May 28.


Cleveland Indians

(25-14, 2)

Diamond in the Rough: Fausto Carmona beat Johan Santana for the second time in three weeks Thursday. The 23-year-old pitched a four-hit shutout in blanking the Twins 2-0. In his last five starts Carmona is 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA.


Milwaukee Brewers

(26-16, 3)

Surprising start continues: When the Brew Crew won on May 12 and the Cubs lost, Milwaukee led the NL Central by eight games, the biggest division lead in franchise history.


Atlanta Braves

(25-16, 4)

The new Ironman: Right fielder Jeff Francoeur has started 205 consecutive games through May 17. Francoeur started the last two games of the 2005 season, all 162 games last season, and every game this season.


Detroit Tigers

(25-16, 6)

"I guess it's an honor to be selected onto someone's fantasy team. But is the person still considered a true fan of the other team, if he or she wants me to do well? I'm not sure of the answer, but that thought has crossed my mind recently, especially after fans come up after games and thank me for getting them points in their league." -- Curtis Granderson.


Los Angeles Dodgers

(25-17, 7)

Now here's a familiar sight for Giants fans: Jason Schmidt didn't throw from the bullpen on Wednesday. Instead he played long-toss with Dodgers trainer Stan Conte. Schmidt threw the ball from center field to Conte, who stood at the left field line. Conte said that the drill allows Schmidt to extend his arm just before releasing the ball. Hey, whatever works -- or doesn't. Keep rehabbing!


Los Angeles Angels

(25-18, 9)

Best leadoff hitter you've never heard of; Reggie Willits had a three-hit game Thursday, raising his batting average to .366 and his on-base percentage to .449 (both tops among AL rookies). The 25-year-old outfielder has at least one hit in 21 of his past 23 games.

San Diego Padres

(23-19, 10)

The Padres are again discussing shortening the fences at Petco Park. Padres CEO Sandy Alderson said the they will re-examine the subject at the end of the 2007 season, although there are already plans on the drawing board for a major redesign of the bleachers in right-center, which the Pads have discussed removing altogether.

Chicago White Sox

(20-18, 17)

A.J. Pierzynski said he has no ill will toward Michael Barrett for the sucker-punch he placed on Pierzynski's jaw last season. It doesn't mean that Pierzynski is looking to have lunch with the Cubs catcher: "It happened and it's over as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure it's going to be brought up because we play the Cubs, shown 1,000 times, but it's in the past as far as I'm concerned. We've moved on and hopefully it won't happen again."


Oakland Athletics

(21-20, 14)

Walking Papers: The A's released infielder Todd Walker after he was designated for assignment on May 12. He was deemed expendable when Oakland caught lightning in a bottle with Jack Cust (seven homers in 37 at-bats).


Philadelphia Phillies

(21-21, 19)

Smooth Move? Since being converted to closer, Brett Myers has struck out 13 batters in 9 1/3 innings, saving four games and tallying one victory in relief.


Arizona Diamondbacks

(22-21, 13)

Mr. Gopher Ball: Brandon Medders has allowed eight home runs through his first 16 2/3 innings this season.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop: Right-hander Russ Ortiz said his right elbow feels fine after a rehabilitation appearance Thursday at Triple-A Fresno, where he yielded three hits and two runs (one earned), struck out four and didn't walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings. The Giants were considering giving Ortiz another rehab start, but Bruce Bochy said that likely won't happen, and if Ortiz feels good after a bullpen session Saturday, the team should be ready to make its next roster move. Stay tuned.


Seattle Mariners

(18-19, 12)

Ichiro Suzuki was thrown out stealing in the seventh inning Thursday, ending an American League-record streak of 45 consecutive successful steals. The one that brought it to an end was a busted hit-and-run play when Jose Vidro didn't swing at a pitch far out of the strike zone, and Angels catcher Jose Molina made a strong throw for the out. The major league record for consecutive steals is 50 (Vince Coleman, 1988-89).

Houston Astros

(20-21, 25)

March to 3,000: Craig Biggio went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Thursday to drop his average to .234. Biggio went 0-for-14 in the three-game series against the Giants. He's stuck at 2,966 career hits.


Chicago Cubs

(19-21, 15)

"It's not frustration man, don't... don't... I don't even know that word. For real. I mean I don't even think about it. It's like when you're married, you don't talk to your wife about divorce. You know? That doesn't exist in my life. It's like when you're married -- don't say 'divorce.' Don't ever say 'divorce.' That's how I am." -- Carlos Zambrano, after a May 10 loss to Pittsburgh. Calm down, champ. You sound frustrated.


Minnesota Twins

(19-22, 11)

It was long overdue, but warranted nonetheless; the Twins designated Sidney Ponson for assignment. The former Giant indicated that he plans to go home to Florida and sit out the rest of the season before deciding whether to resume his career.


Pittsburgh Pirates

(19-22, 18)

It's nearly impossible to be a hero in a game where you go 0-for-6. But Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson might have pulled it off May 8, in a 15-inning game against the Cubs. He drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning. Then he drove in the winning run with another sac fly in the 15th. Best 0-for-6 ever.


Tampa Bay Devil Rays

(18-23, 20)

The Happiest Place on Earth: The Devil Rays might never go back to Tampa Bay. They just swept the Rangers in Orlando and have won four in a row for the first time since May 2006.


Baltimore Orioles

(19-23, 23)

Ironman Part II: Miguel Tejada has played in 1,118 consecutive games, as of May 13, which gives him the fifth-longest streak in major league history.


Toronto Blue Jays

(18-23, 22)

Think the G-men could have used him? Former Giant Jeremy Accardo is 3-for-3 in save opportunities since being handed the closing duties last week. His numbers (19 K's in 18 innings, 0.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP) are -- dare we say it? -- Joe Nathan-esque.


New York Yankees

(18-22, 24)

April-Rod not May-Rod? After a 34-RBI April, Alex Rodriguez has just five RBI over the past three weeks, and he has driven in a run in only two of his past 21 games.


Florida Marlins

(19-23, 16)

Second chance: The Fish claimed outfielder Todd Linden off waivers from the Giants. Linden was hitting .182 in 55 at-bats this season. Lifetime, he's batting .217 in 373 career at-bats in the majors.

Colorado Rockies

(17-25, 26)

Why interleague doesn't work for everyone: The Rockies open a three-game set with the Royals this weekend at Coors Field. (Crickets...)

St. Louis Cardinals

(16-23, 17)

And speaking of interleague, right-hander Anthony Reyes will face the Tigers on Saturday, the first time since his brilliant 7-2 win in Game 1 of the World Series in Detroit last year. However, Reyes is 0-6 in seven starts this season, riding an eight-game regular-season losing streak over two seasons.

Texas Rangers

(16-26, 28)

Desperate for pitching? Former Giant Jamey Wright pitched two innings worth of a simulated game on Thursday and is expected to join Triple-A Oklahoma on a rehab assignment. Wright hasn't pitched in more than a month, so it likely will take several outings to get him ready to rejoin the Rangers rotation.


Cincinnati Reds

(16-26, 21)

"I love LA, as a place to visit and a place I once played, but I'm sure happy we don't have to come back here again this year." -- Catcher David Ross after the team lost its ninth straight game over the last two years to the Dodgers, 0-6 last year and 0-3 in LA this year.


Kansas City Royals

(16-27, 29)

There's still waiting for fans to show up in Colorado. (Crickets chirping louder...)

Washington Nationals

(15-27, 30)

Break up the Nats, again!? Washington has won six of seven and is looking to do more damage at home against the downtrodden Orioles.

Phil De La Cruz served as the managing editor for SF State University's college publication, The Golden Gate [X]press Online, in 2006. He continues to edit and publish articles for's San Francisco Giants affiliate and can be reached at

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