MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

792638.png

MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

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 First Half Week 15

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Awfully close to TEX, but Yankees are half-game better.
JJ: Have emerged from brutal East as best in the game.
2
Tony: Will be interesting to see what they add at deadline.
JJ: Hamilton since June 1: .201.290.396. Yikes.
3
Tony: As we creep closer, Strasburg limit will become top MLB story.
JJ: Rotation can hold up with Gonzalez, Zimmermann and Jackson.
4
Tony: Incredible how hot they are now without Votto.
JJ: Neck-and-neck with Reds, going with PIT here for pitching.
5
Tony: (Potential) Dempster trade is a quality boost.
JJ: If they can play this well without Votto...watch out.
6
Tony: This is the year Pittsburgh. Get ready for Oct. baseball.
JJ: Pujols somehow quietly rounding into form.
7
Tony: To answer my question, yes this is the hot streak.
JJ: Can Sheets keep this up?
8
Tony: Too soon to try to get Trout on Weaver-like discount?
JJ: It's about three months late, but this is the team we expected.
9
Tony: Hottest team in baseball right now. Wow.
JJ: Could Belt be sent down with .341 OBP?
10
Tony: Could they separate from the Dodgers in NL West?
JJ: Incredible that both the A's and Pirates are top 10 teams.
11
Tony: Dang, that was a rough week, eh South Siders?
JJ: Konerko only has six extra-base hits since June 1.
12
Tony: If only they could play the Cubs every weekend...
JJ: Could NL Central get three playoff teams?
13
Tony: Even if they get Garza, would that be enough?
JJ: We're 20 starts in and Chis Capuano's ERA is 2.81.
14
Tony: They're not for real. See JJ's article.
JJ: As of Monday, have best run differential in NL West.
15
Tony: They need Bautista back like now.
JJ: With their rotation problems, pretty tough buy.
16
Tony: Doesn't look like this is Maddon's year with these guys.
JJ: One step forward, two steps back.
17
Tony: Lester doesn't even look like he belongs in bigs right now.
JJ: Maybe could make a run when Longoria gets back.
18
Tony: As Tigers heat up, Indians start to fade.
JJ: Getting absolutely hammered by injuries.
19
Tony: Rejuvenated Chris Young could help them make a run.
JJ: Santana's no-hitter a great moment, but has it killed season?
20
Tony: Wright's future is biggest question mark of this team.
JJ: Fading fast, could be sellers at deadline.
21
Tony: They're out of it. Time to sell.
JJ: Norichika Aoki a bright spot for them.
22
Tony: Carlos Lee trade didn't help too much, did it?
JJ: Just as they near .500, lose five straight.
23
Tony: Utley stole a base this weekend. Gotta be a good sign, right?
JJ: They're pretty well buried, may be too late to turn it around.
24
Tony: Will any of their young guns make first ML starts in '12?
JJ: Liking the future for this club.
25
Tony: HosmerGordon primed to have big second halves.
JJ: Padres are closer to division lead than Phillies.
26
Tony: Still think trading Quentin might have been better.
JJ: Finally dumped Jonathan Sanchez. Worst trade of offseason?
27
Tony: Was hottest team in baseball before STL sweep.
JJ: AS Roma playing at Wrigley Field was pretty neat.
28
Tony: Don't know what to say about them anymore, honestly.
JJ: Should probably trade Willingham, but may not.
29
Tony: Don't have much to offer before deadline.
JJ: Shame Dexter Fowler's solid season is going to waste.
30
Tony: Well, they got Brett Myers off their hands at least.
JJ: Without Jed Lowrie...man, they're bad.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”