POWER INDEX: MAJOR LEAGUE RANKINGS
1. St. Louis Cardinals (1): Third baseman Matt Carpenter, a famously dedicated gym rat, sitting out early-May series at Pittsburgh with “extreme fatigue.” Hmmn.
2. Kansas City Royals (2): Commissioner Rob Manfred on the small market Royals thriving: “The fact they have a strategy that’s sustainable within our system says a lot about the health of our industry.”
3. Detroit Tigers (3): Justin Verlander, sidelined since March with a triceps strain, has been cleared to throw again.
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4. Los Angeles Dodgers (6): Thanks to his 4-for-4, eight-RBI performance against Arizona, catcher Yasmani Grandal fattened his batting average from .261 to .301 in one day.
5. New York Yankees (8): Attention on A-Rod’s “milestone” homers obscures his team’s unanticipated burst out of the gate.
6: Houston Astros (5): No telling how good Astros will be if the heart-of-order hitters ever learn to make consistent contact.
7. New York Mets (4): Right-handed super prospect Noah Syndergaard expected to make MLB debut Tuesday against the Cubs in Chicago.
8. Minnesota Twins (26): When Twins got to 16-13, it marked first time they were three games over .500 since 2010.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (11): Cal Ripken can rest easy. Flu bug snapped Evan Longoria’s MLB-best streak of consecutive games played at 270.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (10): A year after giving up the most earned runs and walks in the NL, soon-to-retire A.J. Burnett resembling an ace not ready to retire.
11. San Francisco Giants (23): Conclusion of Hunter Pence’s minor league rehab assignment can’t come soon enough for light-hitting Giants.
12. Miami Marlins (13): With 26 career extra-base hits and an offensive WAR of 2.4, pitcher Dan Haren will surrender his bat only when it is pried from his cold, dead hands.
13. Chicago Cubs (7): Outfield bleachers that reopen Monday will give Wrigley Field its first new look since 1937.
14. Cincinnati Reds (19): Was appointment of Barry Larkin as Reds’ roving minor league instructor a first step toward a higher-profile job in the dugout?
15. Washington Nationals (16): Twice voted “Most Overrated Player” by his peers, Bryce Harper is youngest to hit three homers in a game since Boston’s Joe Lahoud, in 1969.
16. Toronto Blue Jays (21): Mark Buehrle’s victory over the Yanks last week improved his lifetime record against them to 2-14.
17. Atlanta Braves (20): Looks like the idea of relying on Eric Young Jr. as an everyday centerfielder is done.
18. Arizona Diamondbacks (18): Scuffling D-Backs hitters were given pep talk by manager Chip Hale, then scored 29 runs in 24 hours.
19. San Diego Padres (24): Remade Padres still getting to know each other after flurry of offseason moves.
20. Baltimore Orioles (14): Opening day starter Chris Tillman insists he’s healthy, but he has failed to pitch past the sixth inning in four of six starts.
21. Boston Red Sox (9): Pitching coach Juan Nieves got fired for overseeing a rotation that had no chance to succeed when it was put together.
22. Texas Rangers (27): Three-game sweep of streaking Houston showed Rangers are buying into patience-at-the-plate philosophy of rookie manager Jeff Banister.
23. Chicago White Sox (22): Sox executive VP Ken Williams wants disappointing team to “lighten up a little bit.”
24. Los Angeles Angels (15): Lefty starter Hector Santiago has revived languishing career by mastering baseball’s best — and only — screwball, which spins like a curve ball in reverse.
25. Colorado Rockies (12): Manager Walt Weiss on 4-13 skid during which the Rox were outscored 65-25: “There’s no magic pill.” Actually, Walt, there is, but it has been outlawed.
26. Oakland A’s (25): Breakdown of traditional A’s strengths — bullpen and defense — responsible for not-so-traditional losing record over first month.
27. Seattle Mariners (17): Best aspect about Safeco Field homestands? M’s don’t have to watch other teams gather for ninth-inning celebrations at home plate.
28. Cleveland Indians (28): Tribe’s defense is ranked by one statistical measurement as the worst since the 1930 Phillies, who lost 102 games.
29. Philadelphia Phillies (29): Recent celebrity roast exchange between former “teammates” Mitch Williams and Lenny Dykstra was cringe-worthy awkward.
30. Milwaukee Brewers (30): Brewers MVP? It might be broadcaster Bob Uecker, still spinning yarns at 81.