MLB Power Rankings: Week 5

756414.png

MLB Power Rankings: Week 5

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

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Just wait til Longoria returns and Moore finds it.
JJ: Baseball's best offense, oddly enough thanks no Pujols.
2
Tony: They just keep right on pitching and winning.
JJ: Scuffling lately, still the best team in the AL.
3

Tony: The Bryce Harpers are looking dang good.
JJ: Bryce Harper, like this team, is here to stay.
4
Tony: Rough week for the Chuck Norrises.
JJ: Unbelievable. Pitching has allowed fewest runs in AL.
5
Tony: They're gunnin for that No. 1 spot, Ludacris style.
JJ: Longoria hurts, but Joyce, Pena have been great.
6
Tony: Kemp's UFO has taken off and left him here.
JJ: MLB's highest-scoring offense. Kudos to Greg Walker.
7
Tony: OK. I'm starting to buy in now.
JJ: Falling back to earth, which was inevitable.
8
Tony: Happy now, LewieDavis? You better be.
JJ: Concerns about rotation greater than 9th inning.
9

Tony: Bautista, are you going to show up ever?
JJ: Until pitching comes back to earth, Top 10 team.
10
Tony: Be huge if Scherzer has turned things around.
JJ: Doing just enough right to lead AL Central.
11
Tony: Rivera injury microcosm of pitching woes.
JJ: Still waiting for them to really come alive.
12
Tony: Have to make a move toward contention soon.
JJ: Need Latos to improve to really compete.
13
Tony: Stupid Hamels shoulda kept mouth shut.
JJ: Barry Zito has a 1.76 ERA. It won't last.
14
Tony: Bumgarner is a bonafide star.
JJ: Things finally coming together on 6-game streak.
15
Tony: Pujols will turn it on now. Just watch.
JJ: Solid rotation led by, surprisingly, Joe Saunders.
16
Tony: Need CY back. Like, now.
JJ: With their pitching, eventually they'll win, right?
17
Tony: Starting staff is straight sick...in the bad way.
JJ: Yeah, seriously. Just took 23 from St. Louis.
18
Tony: Just imagine if Bell, Johnson find it.
JJ: Big hole in rotation with Sale moving to 'pen.
19
Tony: Sign D-Lee! No, but seriously, they should.
JJ: Hey! Pujols homered!
20
Tony: Sale move hurts team that has already been falling.
JJ: Lost 5 straight to end the week.
21
Tony: Keep climbing, boys!!
JJ: Colon-McCarthy an oddly effective 1-2 punch.
22
Tony: At least they got Johan a win...
JJ: Nowhere near as good as their record.
23
Tony: Need SP help real bad.
JJ: Pitching'll get better; can they hit around Braun?
24
Tony: This is team wColon as ace, Reddick as No. 3 hitter. Nope.
JJ: Moyer vs. Chipper > Mayweather vs. Cotto. 25
Tony: Altuve the poster boy for upstart 'Stros.
JJ: LaHair building a legit case to start All-Star Game.
26
Tony: Can the offense ever wake up for good?
JJ: King Felix has a 1.89 ERA, as expected.
27

Tony: They were always better than that 12-gm losing streak.
JJ: Starting to come together, will move up soon. 28
Tony: Made the right move with Figgins.
JJ: Inching toward averaging 3 runsgame.
29

Tony: Maybin's hitting again, but Luebke's down.
JJ: Awful news about Luebke.
30

Tony: Sad offense takes hit with Morneau injury.
JJ: No starter has an ERA below 4.60.

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

The two fastballs that soared to the backstop on Wednesday night should give you a strong indication that Carlos Rodon was far from perfect.

But in making his first start of the 2017 season, the White Sox pitcher also offered his team plenty of signals that his health isn’t going to be an issue.

Rodon returned to the mound for the first time since last September and brought the goods that made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects several years ago. Given he’d missed three months with bursitis in the left shoulder and the potential value he offers to a franchise only half a season into its first rebuild in 20 years, that was plenty for the White Sox to overlook the rust Rodon showed in a 12-3 White Sox loss to the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He started a little rough early obviously, got some high pitch counts,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then he kind of settled down.

“Having him back in the rotation and getting him back out there on the big league field, coming out of there feeling good, healthy. I'm sure he will continue to get better as he continues to get out there and move forward.”

Renteria said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon struggled with his command as much as he did against the Yankees. The issues the pitcher displayed in uncorking a pair of wild pitches, walking six batters and throwing strikes on only 41 of 94 pitches were also present during Rodon’s four rehab starts in the minors.

But as long as the stuff was there, the White Sox would be OK with any issues that accompanied the performance. Rodon began to alleviate those concerns immediately when he earned a called strike on the game’s first pitch with a 93-mph fastball to Brett Gardner. Featuring a four-seamer with an absurd amount of movement and a nasty slider he struggled to control, Rodon checked all the boxes the White Sox hoped for from a pitcher they believe will be a frontline starter for years to come. Rodon also was pleased by how he felt before, during and after the contest.

“I was pretty excited,” Rodon said. “I was going a little fast in the first. But it was good to be out there. Next time out, it’ll hopefully be a little better. Arm feels good, body feels good, all you can ask for.”

Well, it’s not ALL you can ask for, but it’s pretty damn good out of the gate given how slow Rodon’s return took. His four-seam fastball averaged 94.9 mph according to BrooksBaseball.Net and touched 97 mph. His two-seamer averaged 94.4 mph and touched 95. And his slider, though he couldn’t control it, nor locate it for a strike, averaged 86 mph.

“You could see (Omar Narvaez) going over to try to catch some balls that were having tremendous run,” Renteria said. “That's (Rodon). He's got some tremendous life, he's just trying to harness it the best that he can and being able to execute where he wants to get as many strikes as possible.”

[VIVID SEATS: Get your White Sox tickets here]

The strikes were about the only thing Rodon didn’t bring with him. He walked Gardner to start the game and issued two more free passes after a Tim Anderson error allowed a run to score and extended the first inning. Rodon threw 37 pitches in the first, only 15 for strikes.

He also reached a full count to each of the batters he faced in the second inning. Rodon walked two more with two outs in the third inning after he’d retired six batters in a row.

And there were those pesky first-inning wild pitches that resembled something out of ‘Bull Durham.’

But all in all, Rodon and the White Sox ultimately saw enough in the first outing to be pleased.

“Great stuff, great life, but the goal is to put it in the zone and let them swing it to get guys out early,” Rodon said. “That’s not what happened. I’ll get back to that.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it’s better to be with the guys out on the field grinding than sitting on the couch and watching, for sure.”

Preview: White Sox host Yankees tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Yankees tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the New York Yankees tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: James Shields (1-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Luis Cessa (0-2, 6.57 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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

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