MLB Power Rankings: Week 1

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 1

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 teams -- take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Wow.Impressive start.
JJ: Well, at least Jose Valverde finally blew a save.
2
Tony: Looking sharp so far.
JJ: Are Yu ready for Darvish's debut?
3
Tony: Sitting atop AL East after sweep.
JJ: They're happy to have Carlos Pena back.
4
Tony: Not the best start, but could've been much worse.
JJ: Not looking like a team that lost Albert Pujols.
5
Tony: See above.
JJ: Rough start not a sign of things to come.
6
Tony: No World Series hangover for the Redbirds.
JJ: Starting pitching is a growing concern; Rivera is not.
7
Tony: Bad series, but again, could be worse.
JJ: Remember when people were concerned about Halladay? That was funny.
8
Tony: These kids are for reals, yo.
JJ: Drilled LincecumBumgarnerCain in impressive fashion.
9
Tony: Don't fret, they're too good to stay down.
JJ: Is Liverpool to blame? If so, it's all Andy Carroll's fault.
10
Tony: Who'd have thought they'd ever been in last place?
JJ: Ryan Braun hits the road for firstBOOOOOO.
11
Tony: I really like this group, solid start to 2012.
JJ: What's worse: Ozzie's Fidel comments or Hanley at 3B?
12
Tony: This is the "worse" I mentioned above. Ouch.
JJ: NL Central battle could get more fun if Cincy contends.
13
Tony: Just ask the G-Men if the D-Backs are for real.
JJ: Naturally, Chad Tracy played hero multiple times.
14
Tony: Think they have a shot at the Wild Card this year?
JJ: Pitching should be fine after being dismantled by Arizona.
15
Tony: Got to watch them first-hand. Solid group.
JJ: Scored seven runs in three games against the Mets. Blah.
16
Tony: Great start, love this young lineup.
JJ: Great start for Ubaldo's season.
17
Tony: What happens when Kemp slumps?
JJ: Hop on the Brandon Morrow bandwagon while there's room.
18
Tony: Good start trying to show they belong.
JJ: Bruce. Chen. And, you know, a good offense.
19
Tony: Came up on the wrong end of two marathon games.
JJ: Offense right where we left it in '11, but Dunn looks better.
20
Tony: Will they ever mesh as a team?
JJ: I admire Kemp's 5050 goal, but...no.
21
Tony: Two losses to Houston? Who are they, the Cubs?
JJ: Gritty series win vs. Philly, still don't think the pitching is there.
22
Tony: Man, if only...this close to a sweep.
JJ: Santana's return is big, but they're still the Mets.
23
Tony: Hung in there vs. Texas...for two games.
JJ: Beat up on a bad team.
24
Tony: Great start, but can they keep it up?
JJ: Also beat up on a bad team.
25
Tony: Felix Hernandez is great, but who else will step up?
JJ: Booing already? Yikes.
26
Tony: Love Maybin, but not enough offense.
JJ: There's no such thing as an overreaction to losing to Houston.
27
Tony: Cespedes is a man, but he's not 40.
JJ: Andrew Cashner might break someone's radar gun.
28
Tony: Holy cow. Didn't think they'd sweep all year.
JJ: Yoenis Cespedes is my spirit guide.
29
Tony: Ouch. To the Orioles? Really?
JJ: Brutal offense scored five runs in three games.
30
Tony: Wasn't sure they'd win two games all year.
JJ: Lucas Harrell started their second game. Lucas Harrell!

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

White Sox ace Jose Quintana puts on a show in victory over Reds

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Those pesky, persistent trade rumors continue to be no match for White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana. 

The 2016 All-Star was outstanding on Thursday afternoon as he made his first Cactus League appearance in nearly a month. Still waiting on word if he'll be the team's Opening Day starter, Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings against a thin Cincinnati Reds lineup in a 4-2 White Sox victory at Camelback Ranch. 

Pitching in front of more than a dozen scouts, Quintana limited Cincinnati to two hits in a 79-pitch outing and struck out three.

"I just try to turn the page quick and keep going," Quintana said. "Never watch behind me and try to go ahead every time I can. I want to put my team in a good position to win games. It's good when you win games in spring training. It brings good energy for the season."

Quintana on Thursday followed the same format he did for Colombia against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on March 10 as he retired the first 17 Reds hitters he faced. Even after he surrendered a hit, Quintana got back to work. Featuring a fastball that sat between 91-93 mph early, Quintana had Cincinnati hitters off-balance all day. After he exited the game, Quintana sprinted to the right-field bullpen to throw 15 more pitches as he continues to build arm strength.

The outing is more of the same consistency the White Sox have come to expect from their trusted lefty. It's also why they refuse to remove the high sticker price attached to Quintana, who has competed at least 200 innings the past four seasons with a 3.32 overall ERA in that span.

As Opening Day approaches, the White Sox continue to listen to offers for Quintana but have refused to budge on their price. Manager Rick Renteria said on Wednesday he needed a few more days before naming his starter for the April 3 opener, which suggests the team would still trade Quintana at this late date. But unless one of the team's suitors finally antes up, it's hard to believe that anyone other than Quintana would take the mound against the Detroit Tigers when the 2017 season kicks off at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Quintana is on target to pitch again Tuesday, though perhaps in a minor league game as the White Sox face Kansas City that day. His next turn would come on April 2, which would easily afford the team the chance to push him back one day. 

Giving Quintana the nod in the opener would be the latest honor bestowed upon him. Earlier this month, Quintana dominated the eventual WBC champion as he didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. That performance came after an outstanding campaign in which Quintana finally appeared in an All-Star Game.

All of the above has Quintana feeling pretty good about his abilities. 

"I have confidence in me, and every time I go out there I just try to have fun and enjoy that time," Quintana said. "I spend good time with my teammates. Every time I go to the mound, I feel pretty good."

Nicky Delmonico homered and singled in a run in the victory for the White Sox. He drove in three runs and hit his third homer of the spring. Leury Garcia also had two hits and made a pair of nice defensive plays at second base.

With first big contract in hand, Tim Anderson planning a run to the Pepsi machine

With first big contract in hand, Tim Anderson planning a run to the Pepsi machine

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tim Anderson plans to buy one very expensive Pepsi.

When it comes time to make his first big purchase, the White Sox shortstop already has a good idea what he's going to do.

As he quickly rose through the minors, Anderson — who signed a six-year deal Tuesday that could pay him $50.5 million through 2024 — talked to his mother about her retiring if he ever reached the big leagues. But all Lucille Brown joked that she has wanted from Anderson is a Pepsi, just one Pepsi. Anderson said on Thursday morning that he intends to make good on his promise and then some.

"She always told me, 'I don't want anything from you, I just wish you the best. The only thing I want from you is for you to buy me a Pepsi,'" Anderson said. "Pepsi is her favorite soda. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to buy her a Mercedes and I'm going to buy a Pepsi and put it in the cup holder for her."

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An outpatient healthcare worker, Brown and her husband Roger — who are Anderson's aunt and uncle — raised Anderson along with their three children. Anderson said he and Brown have discussed her retirement over the past few years and will broach the topic again in the future.

If Lucille decides to retire, Anderson thinks she might take up decorating houses, which she did for the second-year player after he recently purchased a home in North Carolina. But for now, Anderson wants to take care of his family for helping him attain his goal of playing in the big leagues, which led to the "life-changing" contract.

"I think she's going to retire," Anderson said. "We haven't picked up on that conversation yet, but we'll talk about it.

"I feel like nothing but good people have been in my circle from the time that I got drafted."