MLB Power Rankings 2013: Quality Teams Who Will Bounce Back from Injury Woes
As we approach the second month of the 2013 MLB regular season, there has been one common theme throughout the baseball world. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a positive, as injuries have taken the MLB by storm.
The question is, which quality teams will bounce back from their injury woes?
The injury bug has been common throughout the major leagues, with a mix of stars and quality starters going down to injuries of various severity. With the season still young, however, every one of those teams have the potential to recover.
So who will?
30. Miami Marlins (6-19)
The Miami Marlins have fallen well short of any form of positive expectations, as they stand at 6-19 overall. They've played eight series thus far, losing seven of them and drawing a 1-1 split against the Minnesota Twins.
To put it simply, it hasn't been pretty.
The Marlins are losing by an average margin of 3.2 runs per defeat. With that being said, they've lost six games by one run and two in extra innings.
Ranking 30th in runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage is a great way to lose those games.
29. Houston Astros (7-18)
The Houston Astros won their first game in the American League by a score of 8-2. Since then, they've been shut out three times and scored two runs or less in eight games.
Winning their series against the Seattle Mariners appeared to have created momentum, but Houston followed that up by losing all four games to the Boston Red Sox.
Not only did Houston lose to the Red Sox, but they were blown out of the park. They lost every one of those four games by at least four runs.
Houston is dead last in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and BAA.
28. Toronto Blue Jays (9-17)
Entering the 2013 MLB regular season, the Toronto Blue Jays were a team viewed as contenders in the AL East. They'd acquired star players in shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher R.A. Dickey and left fielder Melky Cabrera, thus resulting in reasonable confidence.
Thus far, Toronto is 9-17, having lost four consecutive games and 11 of its past 15.
Fortunately for the Blue Jays, we're only 26 games in and the injury bug has been a major reason for their issues. Starting ace Josh Johnson joins Reyes, reliever Sergio Santos and starter Kyle Drabek as the most notable players battling injuries.
Toronto will turn things around when healthy. The question is, will it be too little too late?
27. San Diego Padres (9-15)
The San Diego Padres may have a less than ideal win-loss record, but they've won four straight games. That includes a sweep of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
How's that for getting hot?
The Padres may not be the most talented team, but power rankings acknowledge momentum and ability on an equal level. When you sweep a team of San Francisco's quality, you're bound to earn respect.
Keep in mind, San Diego is 7-5 since starting 2-10.
26. Chicago White Sox (10-14)
The Chicago White Sox have cooled down as of late, going from 7-8 to 10-14 by losing six of their past nine games. While they recently won three in a row, they've responded to success by dropping two consecutive outings.
It all boils down to the fact that they simply cannot hit.
Chicago currently ranks fourth in quality starts, eighth in BAA and 10th in ERA. Unfortunately, it also placed 22nd in slugging percentage, 27th in runs, 29th in batting average and 30th in on base percentage.
You can throw a perfect nine innings, but without run support, no pitcher will be able to win you a game.
25. Chicago Cubs (9-15)
The Chicago Cubs appear to have found their groove, winning four of their past six games. That includes three wins over the Miami Marlins and another over the Cincinnati Reds.
Unfortunately, Chicago remains 9-15 and lost its series against Cincinnati by a count of 2-1.
To prove how competitive Chicago has been, however, it did take the Reds down to the wire in each of those games. It lost 5-4 in 13 innings during the first game, won 4-2 in 10 innings during the second and lost 1-0 in the series finale.
With a pitching staff that ranks in the top 10 in ERA, quality starts, WHIP and BAA, the Cubs have a bright future—so can anyone besides Anthony Rizzo drive in runs?
24. Los Angeles Angels (9-15)
The Los Angeles Angels appeared to be a team poised to turn things around early, as they swept the Detroit Tigers and took an 11th-inning win over the Texas Rangers. Since then, however, the Angels have lost four of five.
It doesn't get any easier with a road trip to play the Oakland Athletics.
The Angels' star-studded lineup should be powerful enough to turn things around, especially if their stars return from injuries. With starting pitcher Jered Weaver, shortstop Erick Aybar, third baseman Alberto Callaspo and reliever Ryan Madsen amongst those injured, L.A. has something to look forward to.
Can they capitalize before missing out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season?
23. Seattle Mariners (11-16)
The Seattle Mariners haven't been consistent, but they've won three of their past four games and appear to have rediscovered their groove. In an AL West stricken by inconsistency, that may just be enough for Seattle to make a run.
Taking three of four from the Los Angeles Angels is a great start.
The Mariners are fourth in quality starts and sixth in WHIP. Oddly enough, they're also 22nd in ERA and 17th in BAA, which displays how inconsistent their bullpen has been.
With that being said, momentum is present for Seattle.
22. Cleveland Indians (9-13)
The Cleveland Indians have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the MLB, pairing quality winning streaks with extensive stretches of losses on a consistent basis. While they're 4-3 during their past seven games, that's a sign of what was previously alluded to.
Cleveland won three in a row from April 20 to April 22, lost three straight from April 24 to April 28 and have now won its most recent outing.
Although encouraging that they can string together wins, the Indians must avoid this type of streaky play. Their pitching has been nothing short of dreadful thus far, and it appears that Cleveland can only win with the power in their bats.
When it's not an extra base hit, however, the Indiana are struggling to do anything at all.
21. New York Mets (10-13)
The New York Mets started off at 7-4, but have since lost nine of their past 12 games. That includes their current four-game losing streak and the sweep they suffered at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies.
A sweep that saw New York lose by at least four runs in every single game.
Matt Harvey has been sensational for the Mets, going 4-0 with an ERA of 1.54. Harvey has out-dueled the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Roy Halladay in the process.
Even with Harvey's brilliance, the Mets rank 19th or lower in ERA, BAA, WHIP and quality starts.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (12-14)
The Philadelphia Phillies started painfully slow, going 6-10 and drawing questions surrounding the age of their roster. Since then, they're 6-4 and most just recently swept the New York Mets at Citi Field.
The rejuvenation of Roy Halladay is a major reason why.
Halladay started 0-2, allowing 12 runs in a combined 7.1 innings in two starts. Since then, he's allowed just four runs in 21.0 innings.
With their ace back on his game, Philly is looking legitimate again.
19. Tampa Bay Rays (12-13)
The Tampa Bay Rays' starting pitching staff has been superb, thus leading to ranks in the top five of quality starts, BAA and WHIP. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay also ranks 17th in ERA and can't seem to put their bats on the ball.
No matter what the season numbers tell you, the Rays have turned it around—they're 7-3 during their past 10 games.
The Rays swept the red-hot Oakland Athletics, won their series against the streaking New York Yankees and split with the Chicago White Sox. They've won their past two games and finally earned David Price his first win.
That could be the turning point Tampa needs to make its run in a crowded AL East.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-12)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally catching fire, winning five of their past seven games. One of those two losses came in the 10th inning, which displays just how well L.A. is playing.
That's a refreshing change of pace after the Dodgers lost six consecutive games.
One of the biggest turnarounds in the Dodgers' season has been their ability to drive in runs. This has been a pleasant change of pace for L.A., as they rank sixth in on base percentage and 28th in runs scored.
With the likes of Zach Greinke, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Capuano all expected to return from their injuries, the future is bright for L.A.
17. Minnesota Twins (11-10)
The Minnesota Twins continue to defy the odds, winning seven of their past 10 games. They recently split a four-game series with the Texas Rangers, winning by five runs in each victory.
You can question their legitimacy, if you'd like, but the Twins continue to perform at a high level against all forms of competition.
The Twins' pitching staff has come to life in recent games, with Kevin Correia leading the charge.Correia is 3-1 with an ERA of 2.23, perfectly complementing Glen Perkins, who is a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities.
Minnesota may be underdogs, but it's thriving in that role.
16. Oakland Athletics (14-12)
The Oakland Athletics were once the hottest team in the MLB, starting out the season with a nine-game winning streak and eventually reaching 12-4. Since then, the Athletics are 2-8 and don't seem to know which way is up.
Perhaps their 9-8 extra innings win over the Baltimore Orioles on April 28 will help them turn things around.
Bartolo Colon has been shutting down the competition, but it's been all about Oakland's bats. They're first in runs scored, third in on base percentage, seventh in slugging percentage and 10th in batting average.
Until the pitching staff steps up as a unit, however, the Athletics will continue to struggle.
15. Washington Nationals (13-12)
The Washington Nationals are coming off a series in which they won three of four home games against the Cincinnati Reds. During the series prior to that, however, they were swept at home by the St. Louis Cardinals.
It's been that kind of season for the struggling Nationals.
Bryce Harper is performing at an All-Star caliber level, but the Nationals still rank 23rd in runs, 26th in batting average and 26th in on base percentage. With Stephen Strasburg struggling to win games, Washington has fallen victim to a lack of run support.
With Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos expected to return from injuries, however, Washington will be in prime position for a turnaround.
14. Kansas City Royals (13-9)
The Kansas City Royals have long been praised for their promising youth both offensively and along the pitching staff. Thus far in 2013, the young Royals appear to be finding their stride after winning six of their past nine.
It's all about balance.
Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar have helped lead the Royals to a ranking of sixth in batting average. Ervin Santana, James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie's marvelous start have helped K.C. to rankings of second in ERA and fifth in WHIP.
Something tells us Eric Hosmer will finally hit a home run at some point this season.
13. Colorado Rockies (15-10)
The Colorado Rockies started out at 13-4, thus suggesting that they could be the class of the NL West. Since then, however, the Rockies have lost six of eight and have lost Todd Helton for an extended period of time and Troy Tulowitzki to a shoulder injury.
With that being said, Tulo has been healthy throughout their decline.
The Rockies continue to dominate while at the plate, ranking first in slugging percentage, second in batting average and fourth in both runs and on base percentage. The true issue is the fact that Colorado can't pitch.
They're 17th in quality starts, 19th in ERA, 21st in BAA and 22nd in WHIP.
12. San Francisco Giants (13-12)
The San Francisco Giants appear to be the coldest team in the MLB, having lost five consecutive games. With that being said, three of those games have been decided in extra innings.
How cold are they really?
The Giants are in the middle of the road in most major statistics, but rank seventh in batting average, seventh in WHIP and ninth in BAA. A major reason for their recent struggles is the fact that they've allowed 25 home runs, thus far.
They're close to victory every time out, it's just about getting the monkey off their backs and pulling out a tight one.
11. Milwaukee Brewers (12-11)
The Milwaukee Brewers haven't done too much right in specific statistical areas, but they've been one of the most resilient teams in the MLB. They're 12-11 overall, but have won 10 of their past 13 games after starting 2-8.
That includes a recent nine-game winning streak.
With that being said, the Brewers have lost three of their past four games and were most recently shut out by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fortunately, the Brewers are fully healthy and their hitting has improved tremendously in recent games.
This team will go as Ryan Braun goes, but we all know that could be very far.
10. Cincinnati Reds (14-12)
The Cincinnati Reds most recently lost three of four at the Washington Nationals, but they're validity is unquestioned. They're 9-5 since starting the season at 5-7, and have done so without ace Johnny Cueto.
With Cueto, Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Hanigan all expected to return at some point this season, the Reds will only get better.
The Reds have been sensational at putting runs on the board, ranking fifth in the MLB in that category and fifth in on base percentage. They're also first in quality starts and WHIP, thus displaying their dominance via their pitching staff.
That's a scary thought considering Cueto has been out since April 13.
9. Detroit Tigers (13-10)
The Detroit Tigers reached the World Series in 2012 and have the talent necessary to do it again in 2013. They're first in batting average and on base percentage, fourth in quality starts and have won four of their past five games.
The issue for the Tigers seems to have carried over from 2012, however, as they lack a go-to closer during late game situations.
Fortunately for Detroit, Justin Verlander is still himself and the rest of the starters are following suit. That includes Anibal Sanchez, who has a 1.34 ERA in five starts, and Doug Fister, who is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA.
The Tigers are healthy and boast one of the best lineups in the NBA—what's not to like?
8. St. Louis Cardinals (14-10)
The St. Louis Cardinals have won five of their past eight games, but they're also coming off a series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That includes a 9-0 defeat on April 28 in which the Cardinals' pitching staff was uncharacteristically weak.
Don't expect that to continue.
The Cardinals rank eighth in runs scored, but their hitting hasn't been much of a strength. Instead, it's their rank of second in quality starts and third in ERA that has the Cardinals at 14-10.
Every starter has been magnificent, but 22-year-old Shelby Miller is the greatest revelation of the season.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-10)
The Arizona Diamondbacks have won six of their past eight games and have thus moved into first place in the NL West. They've done so with marvelous pitching, with an unlikely figure leading the charge.
Twenty-three-year-old left-hander Patrick Corbin, who is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.91.
Corbin is joined by Wade Miley, who is putting on his second consecutive magnificent season. With Trevor Cahill and Ian Kennedy stepping up, all Arizona needs now is more consistency from their batters and Brandon McCarthy to step up.
With a healthy squad, Arizona looks very good moving forward.
6. Baltimore Orioles (15-10)
The Baltimore Orioles boast one of the most high-powered offenses in the MLB. They're second in runs scored, fourth in slugging percentage, fifth in batting average and seventh in on-base percentage.
They're also sixth in opponent batting average, but can't seem to keep the opposition off the scoreboard—fortunately, Baltimore's batters have proven too strong to overpower.
The Orioles have won eight of their past 11 games, including five of their past seven. Their most recent loss came by a score of 9-8 in 10 innings, which displays how well they've been hitting.
As long as their pitching staff decides to show up at some point, Baltimore could be competing for a World Series.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10)
The Pittsburgh Pirates started at 1-5, but have since been one of the best teams in the MLB. They've won 14 of their past 19 and own series wins over the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, amongst others.
How's that for elite play?
Pittsburgh is coming off a 9-0 win over St. Louis, which is on par with their overall quality of play this season. They're first in opponent batting average and fourth in ERA, thus helping Pittsburgh overcome a poor start from their hitters.
Something tells us Andrew McCutchen will turn things around in that regard.
4. Atlanta Braves (15-9)
The Atlanta Braves were once 12-1 and viewed as the best team in the MLB. Since then, they're 3-8 and struggling to prove their status as a truly elite team.
If only the entire batting order was hitting like Justin Upton and his brother B.J. Upton.
The Braves are fifth in slugging percentage, but they're just 15th in on-base percentage and 21st in batting average. While they're fifth ERA and ninth in WHIP, they're also 17th in quality starts.
With Brian McCann, Jason Heyward, Jonny Venters and Brandon Beachy all injured, you can see why Atlanta is struggling—and why they'll turn it around.
3. New York Yankees (15-9)
The New York Yankees have overcome injuries all around their roster to jump out to a record of 15-9. Most recently, they've won four in a row and five of their past six games.
This all comes with Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova and Francisco Cervelli battling injuries.
Despite playing without four every day starters, two starting pitchers and a key piece at catcher, the Yankees have maintained their elite status. With Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner leading the way, New York ranks in the Top 10 of every major batting category.
With Mariano Rivera a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities and their starting pitchers finding their form, New York doesn't appear to be slowing down.
2. Texas Rangers (16-9)
You could make a case that the Texas Rangers are the best team in the MLB. You could also state that they deserve to be the top team in these power rankings.
In order to make that latter case, you'd need to ignore the fact that Texas has lost two in a row while the team ahead of them is red hot.
The Rangers are are first in ERA, second in WHIP, fourth in quality starts and fifth in BAA. They're eighth in batting average and slugging percentage, ninth in on-base percentage and 11th in runs scored.
This is an elite team; it's simply taken a temporary slide after losing two straight as its competition heats up.
1. Boston Red Sox (18-7)
You can question whether their current will last, if you'd like, but the facts are the facts. The Boston Red Sox have the best record in the NBA and no team is hotter than they have been in recent weeks.
The Red Sox are 18-7, and have won five in a row and 13 of their past 16.
The quality of Boston's opponents has come under fire, but you can't knock a team for winning when they're supposed to. While the competition will improve, the Red Sox are the only team in the MLB with a win percentage over .640—they're at .720.
When you rank in the top five in every major hitting statistic and seventh in ERA, you've earned the top spot.
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