Seattle Mariners

Our MLB rankings for week of July 30

Nationals pitcher Jonathan Papelbon has most likely lost his closing role after the team traded for Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon this week.
Nationals pitcher Jonathan Papelbon has most likely lost his closing role after the team traded for Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon this week. The Associated Press

1. Chicago Cubs (2, last week): With Cubs almost back to full strength, impressive minor league call-ups Willson Contreras and Carl Edwards Jr. making roster decisions tough.

2. Washington Nationals (3): Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon appears destined for new title: Former Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon.

3. San Francisco Giants (1): Trade that landed versatile All-Star shortstop Eduardo Nunez from Twins is the kind of veteran-for-prospect deal that typically works out for Giants.

4. Baltimore Orioles (6): Ubaldo Jimenez looked sharp Thursday while making his first start in three weeks.

5. Cleveland Indians (5): Single off bat of Single-A prospect Francisco Mejia last week extended hitting streak to 40 games, 16th longest in minor league history.

6. Texas Rangers (4): Rangers resurgence began one year ago, with July 30 trade for Phillies ace Cole Hamels.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (9): Here’s a head scratcher: Second-place Dodgers crept into NL West race when Clayton Kershaw was put on disabled list with bad back.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (7): Ex-Mariners set-up reliever Joaquin Benoit threw a scoreless inning in his Jays debut.

9. Boston Red Sox (8): Starter David Price finally regained dominant form Thursday against Angels, but performance was obscured by Hanley Ramirez’s ninth-inning error.

10. Houston Astros (10): Outfield logjam has found Astros focusing on bullpen help before trade deadline.

11. St. Louis Cardinals (13): Weekend in New York against Mets brings back fond memories for 2006 NLCS stars Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

12. Miami Marlins (12): Andrew Cashner is a quality addition for back of rotation — if he can stay healthy.

13. Detroit Tigers (14): Thanks to Miguel Cabrera’s ninth-inning homer Wednesday, Tigers became first team this season to sweep Red Sox.

14. New York Mets (11): Lack of offense forcing imperfect pitching staff to be perfect.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (15): Gerrit Cole’s first professional complete game was sealed with an acrobatic double play against Mariners.

16. New York Yankees (19): Alex Rodriguez, 41, on Joe Girardi’s decision to keep him on bench for entire series at Houston: “I’m getting old, that’s for sure.”

17. Seattle Mariners (17): M’s first “Sunday Night Baseball” appearance since 2004 gives Felix Hernandez rare chance to pitch a regular-season game on national TV.

18. Colorado Rockies (21): Rox second-half improvement bucks trend of recent summers.

19. Chicago White Sox (16): Intense Chris Sale is anything but a cutup.

20. Kansas City Royals (18): Tumbling Royals began weekend having lost 21 of last 32.

21. Oakland Athletics (25): Beating Rangers on Wednesday assured A’s of fourth consecutive series victory since All-Star break.

22. Philadelphia Phillies (20): Rookie outfielder Aaron Altherr went 3 for 4, with a two-run homer, in big league debut last week.

23. Los Angeles Angels (21): Angels will take wins any way possible — even walk-off errors committed on potential double-play grounders.

24. Milwaukee Brewers (22): Brewers began weekend series against Pirates with a 100-51 record against Bucs since 2007.

25. San Diego Padres (23): Friday deal that sent Andrew Cashner to Marlins gave Padres the No. 2 and No. 6 prospects in Miami organization.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (24): Since compiling 1.19 ERA in 23 appearances, reliever Daniel Hudson has taken nose dive — as well as his trade value.

27. Tampa Bay Rays (27): Rays’ 3-1 victory Wednesday was their first at Dodger Stadium.

28. Cincinnati Reds (29): Key to Reds’ rebuilding project? Outfielder Jay Bruce, who won’t be part of it.

29. Minnesota Twins (28): Rookie outfielder Max Kepler grew up in Berlin, where his parents were professional ballet dancers.

30. Atlanta Braves (30): Cobb County executive who arranged $500 million public investment in new stadium has been voted out of office.