How they rank: May 12

Last rankings in parentheses:
1. St. Louis (2): No surprise Yadier Molina hit into a triple play Saturday vs. Pirates, only that it was a line drive and not a ground ball. Molina foot speed, or lack thereof, was not a factor.
2. Kansas City (1): Royals lead majors with 24 hit batsmen. Alex Gordon has been hit an MLB high nine times, or one more than the entire KC staff has hit. No word on insulted batters, but Yordano Ventura is unofficial MLB leader.
3. L.A. Dodgers (5): Clayton Kershaw has 4.26 ERA after beating Rockies 9-5 Sunday. Since end of 2014 regular season, Kershaw has 5.05 ERA and given up 8 homers over last 57 innings, despite fanning 75. He gave up just 9 homers and had 1.77 ERA in 198.1 innings of 2014 regular season.
4. N.Y. Yankees (6): Michael Pineda fans 16 and walks none Sunday, now has 54 strikeouts, three walks, five wins and 2.72 ERA in seven starts this year. That’s one more game than Jesus Montero, the player Pineda was traded for, has played for Mariners in last two years. If anyone is still following, Montero is hitting .333 in AAA despite two walks and 23 strikeouts and hasn’t caught since 2013.
5. Washington (22): The youngest player in the NL on Opening Day? Bryce Harper, at 22, in his fourth season. It’s now Dilson Herrera, 21, recalled by the Mets.
6. N.Y. Mets (4): Bartolo Colon, age 41, weight seven times that, tied for MLB in wins (6-1) with Felix Hernandez (6-0). Last 40-year-old to win 20? Jamie Moyer, who was 100 pounds or more lighter and won 21 at age 40 for Seattle in 2003.
7. Detroit (3): Tigers pinch run for Miguel Cabrera Sunday in 1-1 game in ninth, only to have 2-for-19 Hernan Perez batting in Cabrera’s spot an inning later with the bases loaded and nobody out. Perez hits into 5-2-3 DP and Tigers lose 2-1.
8. Houston (10): Astros had five-game lead in AL West entering play on May 11. Last time they were in first place on May 11 was 2004; they’ve never been ahead by that much on May 11 (2005 World Series team was 12-21 on May 11).
9. Pittsburgh (7): Pirates GM Neal Huntington, according to, on outfielder Jose Tabata: “We have been very open with Jose that while we hope his return to the big leagues with us, he is a guy who may need to get somebody else’s attention and have somebody come get him. If that happens we will be happy for him.” Pirates will be even happier someone else is paying Tabata, who is due $31 million over this season and next four. That’s a lot for an extra outfielder with a .715 career OPS, no matter what the market.
10. San Diego (8): In first five appearances, Odrisamer Despaigner retired 58 of 72 batters and allowed no homers; in lass two he has retired just 20 of 37 batters, thrown four home runs and given up 12 runs in 6.2 innings.
11. Chicago Cubs (9): Joe Maddon on taking out starter Kyle Hendricks Sunday: “Before we took him (Hendricks) out, Herrera hit the ball hard, (Matt) Garza hit the ball hard, (Hecto)] Gomez hit the ball hard, (Scooter) Gennett hit the ball hard, (Ryan) Braun hit the ball hard, (Adam) Lind hit the ball hard. OK? For those that are paying attention.” Maddon would do well to remember that Chicago is not Tampa Bay, where few paid attention.
12. Toronto (17): Marco Estrada, who led MLB in home runs allowed in 2014, threw two more Monday, giving him four in 20.1 innings. Manager John Gibbons blamed it on Estrada’s style of pitching. When Estrada’s pitching, home runs never go out of style.
13. Tampa Bay (12): After going 0-for-11 on challenges, manager Kevin Cash gets first reversal on Saturday. Cash: “It was a good celebration.” Cash, extended it Sunday, getting ejected.
14. L.A. Angels (11): Angels are 28th in MLB with .289 on-base percentage; without Mike Trout’s .407 they might be last.
15. Minnesota (24): Young Twins pitcher Trevor May says it’s “more frustrating than anything … looking out in the bullpen and seeing a guy warming up in the bullpen in the fourth, fifth or sixth inning every single time I pitch.” After giving up six runs in 4.2 innings, May should be able to figure out a way to ease the frustration: pitch better.
16. Baltimore (14): Orioles move Steven Pearce, who hit .293 and 21 homers last year, to second base, and he hits like a second baseman. Pearce, 3-for-20 since the switch is hitting .183 with two homers.
17. Miami (18): Marlins have lost 18 games, had leads in 11 of them, including four blown by soon-to-be ex-closer Steve Cishek.
18. Cincinnati (20): Joey Votto suspended for one game for bumping ump. Given Reds’ struggling offense, any player other than Votto probably wouldn’t have made contact.
19. San Francisco (25): Giants present departed third baseman Pablo Sandoval with his 2014 World Series ring, Sandoval steps back from critical comments he made of team in spring training, probably figuring five weeks of Casey McGehee made his point.
20. Seattle (27): Robinson Cano, who went from 27 home runs as Yankee in 2013 to 14 as a Mariner in 2014, has one in 2015. That’s not many for $24 million.
21. Arizona (21): Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart on free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “I have to see what our scouts are saying and talk to our internal guys, and if it makes sense then we’ll make the next step.” Yo, Dave, here’s two words that should pique your interest in Salty: Tuffy Gosewich.
22. Boston (16): Red Sox fire pitching coach Juan Nieves, replace him with Carl Willis. Perhaps they’re going about this all wrong. Any staff led by Clay Buchholz neeeds an analyst more than a coach, and I don’t mean the statistical kind.
23. Atlanta (23): Trevor Cahill demoted from rotation and sent to bullpen. Manager Fredi Gonzalez says: “I told him this was not a permanent move.” Gonzalez is right. With an 8.64 ERA, Cahill’s next stop is AAA.
24. Texas (28): Wandy Rodriguez, who missed most of the last three seasons with an assortment of injuries, sets team record by retiring 34 batters in a row over two games. Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant tweets: “I’d tell him to take a bow, but his back might stiffen up.”
25. Cleveland (26): Last year’s AL Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber, winless with a 5.04 ERA in 2015. Runner-up Felix Hernandez of Seattle, 6-0 with a 1.85 ERA, wants to know if it’s too late for a recount.
26. Oakland (15): Manager Bob Melvin said pitcher Jarrod Parker is “emotionally numb.” Who could blame him? Just days away from returning to the majors after his second Tommy John surgery, Parker learns he has a fracture which will likely necessitate a third TJS.
27. Chicago White Sox (19): White Sox say they’re undecided on who to start this weekend: Carlos Rodon or Hector Noesi? Tough choice. No. 3 pick in 2014 draft, coming off six-inning, eight-strikeout, four-hitter, or journeyman with career 5.20 ERA and a bad hip? White Sox would have a tough time deciding where to vacation: two weeks in Paris, or two in Corpus Christi?
28. Colorado (13): Rockies lose nine in a row and third baseman Nolan Arenado says, “Honestly, good teams don’t go through this,” then later, “I believe we’re a good team.” He was right the first time.
29. Milwaukee (30): Brewers were second to Rockies in home runs allowed in 2014 with 167, so they traded Estrada (29) and Yovani Gallardo (21). Now they’re no longer second. Brewers lead MLB in most home runs allowed in 2015 with 49, thanks to Kyle Lohse (10 in 39.2 innings), Matt Garza (seven) and Wily Peralta (seven). Add in Mike Fiers (six) and Jimmy Nelson (four), and Brewers’ starters have thrown 34 home runs, which is more than 22 teams.
30. Philadelphia (29): Phillies send down third baseman Cody Asche to learn to play left field, making room for Maikel Franco. Said manager Ryne Sandberg: “For him to be prepared to do that at the major-league level, as an organization we thought it was important for him to go get a number of games and break in that way.” For Asche to do it at the major-league level, he’d have to do it with someone other than the Phillies.

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2 Responses to How they rank: May 12

  1. graham64 says:

    Odrisamer Despaigner has to be one of the best player names in Major League history!

    • Indeed. Apparently, there have been no other players named Odrisamer or Despaigne in the history of baseball. Hard to believe, I know. Alas, it hasn’t helped this one get batters out: in his most recent start, he allowed seven more runs in three innings, bringing his totals in his last three outings to 9.2 innings and 19 runs. He’s well on his way to being a footnote in baseball history.

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