MLB Snark Rankings: Week 5
It was another wild and wacky week around the horn in Major League Baseball, with teams jockeying for position even though we’re just into the first week of May.
The Houston Astros continue to exceed expectations by posting a 10-23 record. Before the season started, they were picked to finish dead last in the AL West. That’s clearly one of the toughest divisions in baseball, but still, this is getting ridiculous.
The 'Stros are currently on pace to blow past the 100-loss mark for the fourth consecutive season and may have rushed über-phenom OF George Springer. He learned a tough lesson in baserunning this week as he was gunned down trying to tag up from second base by A’s OF Josh Reddick.
It’s either learn these painful life lessons at the major-league level, where Springer will either be a mainstay in the Astros lineup for years to come or dominate AAA pitching with the Oklahoma City Redhawks.
Not much change in the rankings from last week, other than the Seattle Mariners dropping out of the Top Five, due to winning seven out of eight -- including two victories in the Bronx over the Yankees -- vaulting them into second place.
One thing that hasn't changed: the Houston Astros remain on top.
- Houston Astros (10-21) – This could get ugly fast, as if it’s not ugly enough. Series against the Tigers, Orioles, Rangers, and White Sox coming up aren’going to pad the win column. Time to start scouting the College World Series and figure out who you want to take No 1 next year. Heck, they'd better figure out who they’re taking No 1 overall this year. Way to stock the farm system.
- Arizona Diamondbacks (11-23) – The D’backs may still be suffering jet lag from their trip Down Under to start the season a week before the rest of the league. Not sure what excuse the Dodgers are using. Oh, that’s right; they’re using Magic’s money! Playing in the ultra-competitive NL West doesn't give them much room for improvement. Slugger Mark Trumbo is out 6-8 weeks on the disabled list. Yep, the rebuilding in the desert continues.
- Chicago Cubs (11-18) – Like the D’Backs, the Cubs play in a very tough division and don’t get the fortune of playing the Astros 20 times per year anymore. However, they do get to play the Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, and Pirates 20 times per year, so they can’t complain about facing inferior opponents. Theo better start working his magic, because it doesn’t look like there’s much to celebrate at Wrigley.
- Pittsburgh Pirates (12-19) – At least the Pirates get to play the Cubs a whole bunch of times, along with the Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds. No wonder there are two teams from the NL Central in our weekly Snark Rankings with those powerhouses. Maybe Pittsburgh can recapture the magic of last season and make a late surge. Stranger things have happened.
- Cleveland Indians (13-18) – The Indians are in a weak division, which doesn’t really explain their poor start. Much like Seattle, Cleveland has been waiting patiently for a couple of years for their prospects to pan out, like Lonnie Chisenhall and Trevor Bauer. Maybe Johnny Manziel can pitch?
Teams are running out of time and excuses that the season's still early and they have time to turn it around. That's true if the current group of players they’ve been trotting out day after day all of a sudden figure out how to hit, catch, and throw better.
MLB isn’t like the NBA, where you can purposely tank a season for the No 1 pick and land a studly franchise player. In baseball, top draft picks often flounder in the Appalachian League for a couple of years before advancing to the next level.
And if you’re in the Appalachian League, anything is better at the next level.