MLB Power Rankings: Week 12

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 12

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: They musta been upset we kicked them out of No. 1.
JJ: If Holland returns to form, rotation could be immaculate.
2
Tony: Still streaking, but not as good as Texas.
JJ: Like Texas, feasted on National League in interleague.
3
Tony: Need early-season Ethier, not the guy of last few weeks.
JJ: 22-8 since May 22. They are who we thought they were.
4

Tony: Ok, it's for real. Trout may be in MVP race.
JJ: Recent struggles have allowed Giants back into race.
5
Tony: Zimmerman is not right, which is a huge blow.
JJ: I always thought Tony was a weird wuss anyways.
6
Tony: This team was better when Chapman was a robot.
JJ: No question Votto's the leader for NL MVP right now.
7
Tony: Joe has to be upset about team's "Maddon-ing" defense.
JJ: Somehow still hanging around as we near midway point.
8
Tony: Dodgers better watch out, these G-men are comin'.
JJ: Brandon Belt on a tear: 1.104 OPS in June.
9
Tony: They really couldn't give Moyer a shot? C'mon, man.
JJ: Youk gives them much-needed stability at third.
10
Tony: "Youklis" is a huge boost to that lineup.
JJ: Entering week as only team in majors w10 BB rate.
11
Tony: No more middleman in Middlebrooks' way.
JJ: They're a mess, but still lurking and dangerous.
12
Tony: McCutchen for NL MVP! Well, behind Votto, anyways.
JJ: Craig Kimbrel's FIP: 0.91. 0.91!
13
Tony: Beltran's still awesome, team still hanging around.
JJ: Think Wainwright turns it on in second half.
14
Tony: They're probably jumping for joy to play the Cubs.
JJ: If Alvarez is coming around, could keep 'em in contention.
15
Tony: Beachy injury leaves them vulnerable.
JJ: Would love to see R.A. Dickey start All-Star Game.
16
Tony: They need to get some offense. LaHairSoriano, anybody?
JJ: Enter week with a -42 run differential.
17
Tony: Feel the ground shaking? They're coming.
JJ: Decent team not good enough for rough AL East.
18
Tony: Bet they wish they could play the Cubs every day.
JJ: Not back yet, but far from buried, you guys.
19
Tony: They need to make a move lest this scuffle lasts.
JJ: Back over .500 and lurking in NL Wild Card hunt.
20
Tony: Derek Norris latest member of upstart A's.
JJ: Too bad Jim Thome can't play every day.
21
Tony: Hmmm. Maybe they will trade Greinke after all.
JJ: Holding their own, at .500 vs. AL West entering week.
22
Tony: Utley returns this week! It's a ray of hope.
JJ: Michael Fiers was fun to watch on Sunday.
23
Tony: Maybe they were too busy watching the Heat last week?
JJ: Wil Myers' reign of terror is approaching fast.
24
Tony: Maybe they should trade some young talent for a P?
JJ: A flawed team that needs a lot of help.
25

Tony: Felix looks like a King again.
JJ: Also .500 in AL West. Only team under .500? Texas.
26
Tony: How Many Altuves would it take for this team to win?
JJ: Wonder if Wandy Rodriguez, last '05 Astro, will get dealt.
27
Tony: Maybe Morneau will be a trade deadline piece.
JJ: Liriano's been great since return to rotation.
28
Tony: Call up Pomeranz! Couldn't possibly be worse than other SPs.
JJ: Pitching rules are, as David Kaplan would say, ridiculous.
29
Tony: Maybe they shouldn't have traded Rizzo?
JJ: Closing in on Pittsburgh for MLB's worst offense.
30
Tony: IT'S RIZZO TIME, BABY! Can you say fifth place?
JJ: Arne Friedrich is Tuesday's prime attraction at Wrigley, right?

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

The White Sox continue their series against the Seattle Mariners, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (10-9, 2.84 ERA) vs. Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Felix Hernandez has proven for years that he doesn’t need much help.

But the White Sox provided him with three free outs on the bases anyway on Friday night.

Those mistakes allowed Hernandez to hold the White Sox in check as they wasted a 14-strikeout performance from Chris Sale in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners in front of 25,651 at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale retired 16 in a row to end it, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox dropped back to five games below .500.

“We didn’t run the bases very well tonight,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That ends up costing you. You’re getting something going against them, and it just takes the wind out of your sails. Both guys pitched great.

“They just executed better than we did when they got the chance. Both guys were going strong. The way we ran the bases, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Sale (15-7) deserved much better than to lose for the fifth time in his last six decisions.

[MORE: White Sox trade catcher Dioner Navarro to Blue Jays]

Though he allowed a run in the second, third and fourth innings, Sale got on a roll late.

After Adam Lind’s two-out RBI double in the fourth, Sale found an extra gear and retired the last 16 Mariners to hit, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings and afforded his teammates a chance to rally.

“Thank God we did it early because as everybody saw, when he gets on a roll it’s like lights out,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason. We had no chance, really, after the fourth and fifth inning. He got into a groove and got all his pitches working.”

Two of Seattle’s three runs off Sale came on opposite-field drives as Lind doubled to left in the fourth and Franklin Gutierrez homered to right in the second inning. Sale walked none and only allowed five hits and three runs in nine innings. He threw strikes on 88 of 120 pitches.

It was the 13th complete game of Sale’s career and his fifth this season.

“I wanted to find a groove and I felt like after the fourth inning I got into a pretty good groove, that cruising speed I was talking about,” Sale said. “I just tried to lengthen it as much as I could, just fill up as many innings as I could. Just give us a chance to win, keep us in the game.”

While Sale kept his team in the game, they repeatedly took themselves out of it.

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The White Sox had plenty of chances against Hernandez, none better than the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing by two runs, Avisail Garcia and Tyler Saladino singled on both sides of a J.B. Shuck fielder’s choice. Adam Eaton’s one-out walk knocked Hernandez out of the game after 104 pitches.

But closer Edwin Diaz got Tim Anderson to hit into a fielder’s choice as third baseman Shawn O’Malley made a perfect throw home on the slow roller for a force out. Jose Abreu then fouled out to leave the bases loaded. Diaz retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th save.

Todd Frazier homered in the seventh inning of Hernandez for the team’s only run, but they should have had more. The White Sox had the leadoff man reach base in five of eight innings started by Hernandez, who allowed a run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Hernandez erased two of those five as he picked off Frazier and Shuck in the second and third innings. He also got out of a first-and-third jam in the fifth inning when Shuck lined into a double play and Omar Narvaez was caught leaning.

“That’s the frustrating part,” Ventura said. “You know you’re not really going to have too many opportunities (against Hernandez). You might be able to hit and run or all of a sudden you’re first and third. But if you just take it out of your own hands, that’s where you scratch your head.”

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

The way he dominated the Pioneer League had to boost to Alec Hansen’s confidence. It also prompted his promotion.

When the White Sox sent their second-round pick to Great Falls last month it was in the hope he could rebound from a rough junior season at Oklahoma that caused his draft stock to fall. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hansen was selected 49th after he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 batters in 51.2 innings. But Hansen — who made his first start at Single-A Kannapolis on Friday — looked every bit the first-rounder at Great Falls with a 1.23 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

“We wanted to put him in a position where there was a little less pressure to start off the season,” White Sox player development director Nick Capra said. “There's always pressure, but it's a little less magnified in the Pioneer League. We wanted to get him on the right road. We did a couple things with him mechanically and he took off with it.”

“We kind of held him hostage in Great Falls a little bit too long. He’s been really good. He’s double-digit strikeouts every night. He’s not walking people.”

Hansen is expected to make two starts at Kannapolis before the team’s season ends. He earned a no decision after he allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Columbia Fireflies on Friday.

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Capra described the mechanical changes the White Sox made with Hansen as minor. Essentially, they want Hansen to take advantage of his 6-foot-8 frame and stay taller and release the ball more quickly. They believe it will help him better command his pitches.

Through 11 minor-league starts, Hansen has walked 18 batters in 49 innings (he also pitched seven innings in Arizona). That’s compared with the 96 batters he walked in 145 innings in college.

“Our player development guys deserve so much credit for the way they've handled it,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “There was a little bit of concern about the confidence part of it, just him taking the ball every fifth day and knowing that we believe in him. Our pitching guys and PD guys deserve a huge amount of credit for just the time they put into it. They really, really know how to make these guys excel and succeed. Been a pretty fun ride to watch and I hope it continues.”