First Half MLB Power Rankings

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First Half MLB Power Rankings

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 Week 12 Week 13

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Almost moved them out of top spot.
JJ: Still have best run differential in baseball.
2
Tony: A-Rod is on pace for his worst season ever.
JJ: Neck-and-neck with Texas for top spot.
3
Tony: Curious to see what this team does before deadline.
JJ: Would they actually shut Strasburg down during pennant race?
4
Tony: Yep, they're a Top 5 team after sweep of TEX.
JJ: Closing the gap with Texas means they're 4 back at break.
5
Tony: McCutchen overtaking Votto for NL MVP?
JJ: Neil Walker's resurgence has been huge in getting them here.
6
Tony: Alright, seriously, Mike Trout for AL MVP?
JJ: 56 from Texas and Toronto mighty impressive.
7
Tony: Can Dusty keep this team in the hunt this time?
JJ: Cueto's All-Star snub was outrageous.
8
Tony: Kemp return will be a HUGE boost.
JJ: Still hanging at the break, although tenuously.
9
Tony: McCann starting to heat up a bit?
JJ: Limping into the break, but should get Kemp back.
10
Tony: Needed to take more advantage of weakened Dodgers.
JJ: Also limping into break. Lincecum has been just terrible.
11
Tony: Allen Craig is a big bopper, but can he stay healthy?
JJ: Pretty much buried the Phillies over the weekend.
12
Tony: Hard to believe they won't make a run late in season.
JJ: Righted the ship after rough patch; very much in WC hunt.
13
Tony: The fade has begun, right? I mean, it's coming, isn't it?
JJ: If Wainwright's luck ever turns, will be huge down the stretch.
14
Tony: Johnny Damon signing not enough, clearly.
JJ: Almost as nuts as Cueto's snub: Dickey not starting ASG.
15
Tony: Thereee it is. A winning streak. Finally.
JJ: Finally turning it around, or just beating bad teams?
16
Tony: Remember when they can't win a series against the Cubs?
JJ: Can't sustain any kind of a run.
17
Tony: This team is just maddening. No consistency.
JJ: Outstanding offense, but pitching not there without Morrow.
18
Tony: Given up third most runs in AL.
JJ: Only 4 back at break. If Upton turns it around...
19
Tony: No way they trade Justin Upton, right?
JJ: Still loitering around race, although may not be serious contenders.
20
Tony: Good for them. Golf clap.
JJ: Playing .500 ball at the break is pretty darn impressive for them.
21
Tony: Why is Corey Hart untouchable?
JJ: Greinke first player to start 3 in a row since Red Faber.
22
Tony: This team bores me. I won't be watching "The Franchise."
JJ: Resembling the talent-laden Ozzie-managed team of 2011.
23
Tony: Utley, Howard not helping matters in City of Brotherly Love.
JJ: Great to see everyone trying the BBQ at All-Star Game.
24
Tony: Too bad their young talent isn't well represented at ASG.
JJ: Getting healthy, but not getting any better.
25
Tony: Mauer bashing the ball like the Cerrano -- er, Mauer -- of old.
JJ: Anyone notice Kevin Millwood has a 3.69 ERA?
26
Tony: Time to call this a sophomore slump for Ackley?
JJ: Only Colorado has allowed more runs.
27
Tony: This team could be a great "spoiler" in 2nd half.
JJ: Haven't lost a series since Rizzo came up. RizzoEffect
28
Tony: Offense will be sad again without Quentin.
JJ: May not lose their grip on last place at this rate.
29
Tony: I feel bad for CarGo. This is a lost season for his team.
JJ: No longer last, because...
30
Tony: Sucks to be in sixth place, doesn't it, Houston?
JJ: 479 runs allowed by one of the worst pitching staffs in years.

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey takes advantage of showcase as White Sox down Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If Carlos Rodon starts on the disabled list as expected, the White Sox won't turn to any of their vaunted top prospects in the interim.

The news on Rodon has been encouraging so far as no structural damage has been discovered. Still, the White Sox won't clear Rodon until after he receives a second opinion on Monday. While the length of Rodon's absence won't be determined for several days, the White Sox are certain of one route they won't take — they don't want to disrupt the development of their young starting pitchers. Were a DL trip for Rodon necessary, the White Sox would likely select either Saturday's starter, Dylan Covey, or minor leaguer David Holmberg over their top prospects. Covey made a strong impression on Saturday afternoon with 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched and the White Sox rallied for a 10-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.

"When you have an opportunity to stabilize action or movement for players it serves them better," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "They get a little more comfortable where they're at. They get comfortable with the staffs they're working with and the information they're gathering, being in a routine. It is a little disruptive going from team to team to team. It happens, but it's not the most conducive (to learning)."

The White Sox are all about development this season. Therefore, they have no plans to call upon Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer or Michael Kopech unless they're A) ready and B) throwing every fifth day in Chicago. Renteria's comments Saturday reiterated Rick Hahn's earlier message, saying the club doesn't want to disrupt the development path.

That puts Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick in December, with a decent opportunity to make the club out of camp. Covey commanded the strike zone on Saturday only hours after Renteria said he hoped to see the young right-hander replicate an Arizona Fall League performance that initially warmed the White Sox up to him.

Aside from a two-out walk in his final inning, Covey was sharp the whole way. He allowed three hits and struck out three.

"My last couple of outings I was definitely feeling the stress," Covey said. "I was kind of pitching a little passive, pitching to not make a mistake instead of just going right after guys. So today and yesterday I just thought I'm just going to throw every pitch with conviction and see what happens. I got a lot of weak contact today and some swings and misses, so I felt good."

Covey threw 44 pitches, 27 for strikes. He potentially could stay in Arizona on Thursday and make an additional minor league start to build arm strength, which would get him to roughly 60 pitches before the regular seasons started.

The White Sox don't officially need a fifth starter until April 9 and they're off the following day. That break could allow the White Sox to start Covey as part of a bullpen day. Covey said he recently changed his mindset after lackluster results in relief this spring. The right-hander has a 6.94 ERA this spring in 11 2/3 innings.

"Obviously my last two outings out of the pen I wasn't getting crushed, but I just wasn't commanding the ball or commanding the count as much as I would like to be," Covey said. "The mistakes get hit a little harder when you're falling behind in the count. Today I wanted to have the mindset of attacking hitters, throwing everything down in the zone and going right after them, and it worked out."

The White Sox blasted six home runs in the contest, including a majestic, go-ahead grand slam by first baseman Danny Hayes in the top of the ninth inning. Hayes is hitting .351/.400/.595 with two homers and is tied for the team lead with 13 RBIs this spring. Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico, Cody Asche, Everth Cabrera and Jacob May also homered for the White Sox. 

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

White Sox: Carlos Rodon feels reassured after clean MRI

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While he still has a second opinion ahead and is likely to start 2017 on the disabled list, a clean MRI has Carlos Rodon feeling relieved after a bizarre Thursday.

The White Sox pitcher described Saturday the strange experience he’s had the past few days dealing with soreness in his left bicep.

In the span of 48 hours, Rodon -- who will receive a second opinion on Monday -- went from feeling good enough after a midweek bullpen session to request that his first start be moved up to likely landing on the DL. As he prepares to navigate the rehab process, Rodon is more at ease after an MRI on Friday showed no structural damage.

“(Thursday) was a weird day for me,” Rodon said. “I wasn’t very happy with it. I got that checked out, trying to figure it out.

“I feel better. It’s reassuring.”

“(Your arm is) your tool. It’s concerning. But that’s why you go get those things checked out and make sure everything is ok. That’s what we did.”

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Rodon, who went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 165 innings in 2016, has one more checkup before he’s all clear. He travels to Los Angeles on Monday for an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache. General manager Rick Hahn said Friday that a second opinion is “protocol.”

Though he has already been reassured -- the club’s diagnosis was he had no structural issues after a physical exam and then the clean MRI -- Rodon wouldn’t mind more confirmation. The left-hander said he hadn’t experienced the kind of tightness he suddenly felt in his biceps tendon before Thursday. He could lift his arm above his head, but Rodon said his stuff wasn’t the same. After he informed them, the White Sox determined to be cautious.

“It’s pretty tight up there,” Rodon said. “I’ve never really been that tight. I couldn’t really step on some balls I wanted to throw to get that arm going. So, I had to get it checked out. It didn’t feel too good.”

The White Sox already had Rodon on a delayed schedule where he needed to hit every mark to be ready for the regular season. They did so in hopes of helping him avoid the fatigue he experienced last summer and also reaching the 200-inning mark this season. Now it appears Rodon will begin the season on the DL, according to Hahn.

Though he’d like to start the season on schedule, Rodon wants to make sure he’s physically good to go.

“Just trying to be healthy man,” Rodon said. “You don’t want to go the start of the season and be behind the best guys. You are a tick down from the best guys in the world. It’s not fun pitching when you are not feeling too good. I want to be 100 percent when I’m out there. That gives our team the best chance of winning.”