How They Rank: April 11

Previous ranking in parentheses (stats after Sunday’s games):

1. Texas (5): Don’t count on young reliever Pedro Strop seeing a close game anytime soon. With an eight-run lead on Saturday, he surrendered two balks, two walks and a hit.

2. Philadelphia (2): Phillies’ Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt says batters don’t fear the team’s four aces because none is intimidating like Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale. Schmidt is assuming batters aren’t afraid of an o-for-4.

3. N.Y. Yankees (1): Because it’s a good line that deserves repeating (not sure who should get the credit). You think the Red Sox are bad? What about the Yankees? They just lost two of three to an 0-6 team.

4. Colorado (14): So why exactly does Jonathan Herrera apparently strike fear into opposing pitchers? Five-foot-nine second baseman with a career .337 slugging percentage has seven walks in first 18 plate appearances.

5. Chicago White Sox (7): Lastings Milledge lasts barely a week for Ozzie Guillen. The Lastings Milledge Story: Only 26 years old and he still has 26 teams to exasperate.

6. Cincinnati (9): Reds reliever Nick Masset might want to skip April next year. He had an 11.32 ERA in April last year, has it down to 11.25 for the month this year.

7. Boston (3): If Kevin Youkilis was hitting the ball as hard as he’s slamming his equipment after making each of his many outs, his average might be more than .148.

8. Atlanta (4): Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez praises second baseman Dan Uggla for laying out in the field on Saturday.  That’s great Fredi, but the Braves aren’t paying Uggla $62 million over five years to hit .158.

9. L.A. Angels (18): Scout tells CBS’ Danny Knobler Scott Kazmir (1.2 innings, 5 runs) was “terrible” in his first start. “No command. No velocity. No nothing.” OK. But tell us what the problem was.

10. San Francisco (6): Giants starters have allowed only three home runs in 52 innings; Pat Burrell has hit three (and just one single) in 25 at-bats.

11. Toronto (10): Rajai Davis attributes dropped fly ball that led to 3-1 loss on Sunday to “a lack of focus.” Just a coincidence that Davis’ re-injured ankle will have him focused on the bench.

12. Milwaukee (11): Brewers trade for Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum to add to holdovers Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf, and ace is? Chris Narveson, apparently. He has career 4.48 ERA, but 0.00 this year after throwing 13 scoreless innings.

13. Florida (20): Edward Mujica, who hadn’t hit a batter since 2008 and had walked just 26 in his last 167 innings, said he was not trying to hit Bill Hall with a pitch Sunday after Hall’s hard slide hurt Hanley Ramirez. And if you believe that, Mujica has South Beach real estate to unload cheap. 

14. L.A. Dodgers (15): Most amazing part of Matt Kemp’s .438 start? He’s 6-6 stealing bases after going 19-34 in 2010.

15. Baltimore (22): Bad news. J.J. Hardy injury means six weeks of Cesar Izturis for Orioles fans to endure.

16. Minnesota (12):  Twins have 4.38 ERA, 21st in MLB. They’re lucky it’s not worse after allowing 36 walks and 13 home runs in first 78 innings.

17. St. Louis (13): Manager Tony La Russa says he’s sticking with Ryan Franklin as closer even after Franklin allows nine baserunners in first 3.2 innings. “Somebody’s got to come up with somebody that’s better on our club right now,” La Russa said. Yo, Tony. Right now anybody is somebody.

18. Oakland (17): Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: San Francisco Chronicle said oft-injured A’s pitcher Rich Harden’s throwing session “went well.” They always do.

19. Kansas City (26): Bruce Chen, who once lost 13 decisions in a row from 2006-09, has won his last five.

20. Detroit (16): Detroit News column says there’s no reason for Tigers fans to panic. Perhaps not. But from here, there’s plenty of reason to worry.

21. Cleveland (29): Even Indians fans didn’t see this seven-game win streak coming. After drawing 41,000-plus for home opener, next five home games barely drew that combined, and only one topped 10,000.

22. Chicago Cubs (21): Don’t knock the signing of veteran pitcher Russ Ortiz to a minor-league contract. Ortiz, who has seven career homers, can still hit. Pitch? Not so much.

23. San Diego (19): Padres still have an A.Gonzalez in the lineup, and Alberto (.286) is outhitting the departed Adrian (.227). That ought to last about as long as the Padres’ pennant hopes.

24. Arizona (23): Manager Kirk Gibson sat Willie Bloomquist, hitting .394 in place of an injured Stephen Drew, on Saturday because he said he wanted to keep him fresh. There’ll be plenty of time to rest Bloomquist — it’s called summer.

25. Washington (25): Two-hit day brings catcher Ivan Rodriguez to within 180 of becoming first full-time catcher to reach 3,000 (Craig Biggio caught just 428 games).

26. N.Y. Mets (24): How desperate are the Mets in the bullpen? Jason Isringhausen, who’s pitched eight innings in the last two years, returns. Can Bill Pulsipher be far behind?

27. Pittsburgh (27): Pittsburgh police taser and use force to subdue a Pirates fan at Saturday’s game. Who knew? Pirates have fans.

28. Tampa Bay (8): Rays manager Joe Maddon ejected from Sunday’s loss, then imitates the ejection in return to umps. Seems only fitting since the Rays’ hitters are just imitating major-league hitters this year.

29. Houston (28): Manager Brad Mills meets with coaching staff to discuss team’s poor base running. With Astros’ lineup, he should be happy they have base runners.

30. Seattle (30): Milton Bradley wears ear plugs to bat, which manager Eric Wedge says is OK with him. We’ll see how he feels after Bradley keeps them in while Wedge is talking to him.

This entry was posted in baseball, rankings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s