Seattle Mariners

John McGrath’s Major League Baseball rankings

With last week’s rankings in parentheses:

1. Los Angeles Angels (1): Josh Hamilton has missed most of past three weeks with injuries to his right AC joint, right shoulder, right chest and right rib cage.

2. Baltimore Orioles (2): Orioles will enjoy three days off before Chris Tillman takes the mound Thursday for Game 1 of the ALDS.

3. Washington Nationals (3): Nats on cruise control after assurance of home-field advantage through NL playoffs.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (4): Matt Kemp’s absurd contract — he’s still owed $107 million through 2019 — prevented Dodgers from unloading him at the trade deadline, and are they ever glad.

5. Detroit Tigers (7): During spring training, Astros’ brain trust informed sweet-swinging outfielder J.D. Martinez he was no longer in their plans. Oops.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (6): Cards clinched a playoff berth, but dropping two of three to the Cubs obstructed Easy Street route to division title.

7. Kansas City Royals (8): The 29-year postseason drought ends this week.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates (11): Bucs’ most remarkable accomplishment? They proved Steelers-crazy Pittsburgh can be a baseball town, too.

9. San Francisco Giants (5): Giants are back in the playoffs, and you get the sense their 9-10 season-series record against the Dodgers is unfinished business.

10. Oakland Athletics (10): On those days you’re frustrated with your job, consider the bright side: It’s not as stressful as Bob Melvin’s.

11. Seattle Mariners (9): It didn’t salvage the woeful road trip, but Taijuan Walker’s complete-game gem at Toronto provided a sneak preview of a star.

12. Cleveland Indians (13): Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco apologized for remarks critical of the fielders who cost him two runs last week, but he had a point: Defense has been Tribe’s downfall.

13. New York Yankees (15): Even those who are beyond tired of the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour must admit his Yankee Stadium finale couldn’t have been scripted better.

14. Toronto Blue Jays (14): Pummeling of M’s last week assured Jays no worse than a .500 record — and apparently saved John Gibbons his job as manager.

15. Milwaukee Brewers (12): After spending 150 days in first place, Crew has six months to contemplate what went wrong,

16. Miami Marlins (17): Injuries to starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, the NL’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, an MVP favorite, doomed Marlins any chance of a late playoff push.

17. Atlanta Braves (16): Candidates to replace GM Frank Wren include Royals’ GM Dayton Moore, a former Braves executive.

18. New York Mets (18): Before Dillon Gee was called for a balk Thursday, Mets had gone 159 games without one.

19. Tampa bay Rays (19): A pioneer of the defensive shift, Rays manager Joe Maddon convinced that generating offense is baseball’s “next big frontier.”

20. San Diego Padres (20): Padres are planning to replace Petco Park scoreboard with a high-definition upgrade — but will it show anything other than zeroes?

21. Cincinnati Reds (21): Rebuilding effort begins with assembling a better, more cost-effective bullpen.

22. Chicago White Sox (22): Retiring Paul Konerko has no post-career plans involving baseball, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be away from the game for more than a year or two.

23. Philadelphia Phillies (23): No roster is in need of a more comprehensive overhaul than that of aging, overpaid Phillies.

24. Chicago Cubs (25): Installation of Jumbotron and outfield advertising signs at Wrigley Field guarantees no more home runs will land on Waveland or Sheffield.

25. Boston Red Sox (26): Only holdovers Thursday from defending world champs’ opening day lineup were right fielder Daniel Nava and shortstop Xavier Bogaerts.

26. Houston Astros (24): Reno Aces skipper Phil Nevin — taken by Houston as the No. 1 overall pick of the 1992 draft — in the mix for Astros’ managerial job.

27. Minnesota Twins (27): Phil Hughes set new single-standard standard for strikeout-to-walk ratio: 186-16.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks (28): With hiring of GM Dave Stewart and firing of manager Kirk Gibson, D-Backs looking serious about taking new direction.

29. Colorado Rockies (29): Justin Morneau, who entered Saturday batting (.319), began weekend in sprint-to-the-finish race with Bucs’ Josh Harrison (.318) for NL batting title.

30. Texas Rangers (30): Interim manager Tim Bogar has made a strong case to be appointed full-time skipper.

  Comments