MLB Power Rankings: Week 7


MLB Power Rankings: Week 7

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

JJ Comments 1
Tony: Keep right on rolling wo Kemp with sweep of STL.
JJ: Still better than anybody, but...
Tony: Swept by Royals early last week -- that hurt ranking.
JJ: ...Los Angeles really narrowing that gap.
Tony: Just keep on rolling on Hotlanta.
JJ: Haven't got the attention they deserve for great play.
Tony: Every game they play is close, but they're winning 'em.
JJ: Slipping, although I think they'll survive sans Berkman.

Tony: Their phenom starter needs to find 'Moore' consistency.
JJ: 4.02 staff FIP probably not a good sign for future.
Tony: Didn't win a series vs. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, San Diego.
JJ: A little more offense and they're a juggernaut.
Tony: Joey Bats starting to swing it, will be players at deadline.
JJ: Shipping Lind out was a bold move, starting to buy them.
Tony: Berkman injury hurts, season may be on downswing.
JJ: Matt Joyce is the truth.
Tony: They're better than they've played, but how much better?
JJ: Not only is Austin Kearns still around, he's slugging .605.
Tony: Still holding on to first. Sweep of MIN, SEA helps.
JJ: Enter week on 8-2 run. Like them more than New York.
Tony: Chapman closing, Marshall setting up makes pen dominant.
JJ: Will they repeat 2011's season arc and struggle soon?
Tony: If only SanchezBell got off to better starts...
JJ: Sabathia walked in a run this weekend. Yep.
Tony: Would they really dare to send Ike Davis down?
JJ: Cards' fall has mediocre team in striking distance.
Tony: As Lou Brown said, "Startin' to come together..."
JJ: We'll see if series vs. Pittsburgh springboards them.
Tony: Amazing that 7-3 stretch has them only at .500.
JJ: Playing better, but enter week 7 games behind LA.
Tony: Need Scherzer to have more dominant outings like last one.
JJ: News on Howard's recovery now limited to Subway ads.
Tony: Sweep of Cubs has them at .500, competing in division.
JJ: Have a big chance to move up this week.
Tony: Don't look now, but they've won eight of 10.
JJ: Inevitable fall out of contention underway.
Tony: Even if Manny struggles in return, he'll be a good show.
JJ: McCarthy'll have plenty of time to blog from mom's basement.
Tony: Pujols has homered, so why aren't they winning?
JJ: Somehow, enter the week with a positive run differential.
Tony: Have injuries derailed their season?
JJ: Disappointment level much higher than "All In" Sox.
Tony: McCutcheon proving to be only reliable hitter.
JJ: Pitching remains great, offense remains horrific.
Tony: Young back, Hudson back soon will be another boost.
JJ: Playing above .500 since 12-game losing streak.
Tony: Certainly had enough O to sweep Rockies, didn't they?
JJ: Upton slowly coming around, need him to really get going.
Tony: Bad, but definitely not terrible like everyone expected.
JJ: Got beat twice by the Twins. They're not a good team. 26
Tony: Hosmer will start hitting, Butler looks like a star.
JJ: Kyle Seager's walk-up song better be by Bob Seger, you guys.
Tony: Things not good in Denver right now.
JJ: On injury away from pulling Jake Taylor out of Mexico. 28
Tony: Six-game losing streak to close out the week. Ouch.
JJ: One of two teams with staff ERA above 5.

Tony: They actually took a series from the Angels.
JJ: Dale Thayer should be on your fantasy team.

Tony: Won 45, but still have baseball's worst record.
JJ: Took first two from Milwaukee...then lost by about 50 Sunday.

Zack Collins, Yoan Moncada play as White Sox fall to Dodgers

Zack Collins, Yoan Moncada play as White Sox fall to Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manager Rick Renteria promised before Saturday's game the prospects would play and they certainly did.

White Sox prospects Zack Collins and Yoan Moncada both entered in the fifth inning of Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Collins singled in two at-bats while Moncada, the centerpiece in the Chris Sale trade, went 0-for-2.

"It was fun," Collins said. "To be able to go out there on the first day was an honor to me. A little jittery, but very excited to play.

"I'm the new guy, it's my first year and the first game played and I get to play. It's definitely an honor."

It's a distinction that will be shared by many, Renteria said. With the White Sox focused on player development and a longer spring schedule, the prospects should get a long look. Given the club's top eight prospects — according to — are in big league camp, many will see significant playing time early in camp.

"We've got a long spring and a lot of opportunities," Renteria said. "You're going to see a lot of our kids."

Reliever Zack Burdi, the 26th overall pick of last June's draft, is scheduled to appear in Sunday's game when the White Sox host the Rockies. The White Sox also tentatively have listed Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez as the starting pitchers for their split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday. 

Collins took advantage of his first chance with a ninth-inning single off Dodgers pitcher Edward Paredes. Next up for the 2016 first-rounder is a report Monday for his teammates as part of Renteria's morning meetings.

"I have my little presentation going," Collins said. "I'll probably be more nervous than I will playing."

Alterations have White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer comfortable, 'in the moment'

Alterations have White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer comfortable, 'in the moment'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Fulmer decided to make several "life-changing" alterations after the White Sox sent him to Triple-A Charlotte last season.

Tired of struggling, the rookie right-hander had a long discussion with Richard Dotson, who has since been promoted from Triple-A pitching coach to the organization's pitching coordinator. Fulmer — who pitched two scoreless innings in Saturday's exhibition opening 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers — said he didn't make any drastic changes. But the fixes he and Dotson decided to test have since led to Fulmer feeling comfortable and confident. 

"Afternoon game, I got kicked around (after) I got sent down from the big leagues," Fulmer said. "I needed to take a deep breath and adjust some things and Dot was willing to take me aside and talk to me.

"First thing he said to me made a lot of sense and I feel like from that point on, I feel it's really able to help me stay in the moment, even putting mechanics aside. It was one of those things where he had success and I want to have success and you have to trust people like that to get where you want. I tell him all the time what he did. But more importantly I feel really comfortable and just have to move on."

Fulmer spent 33 days in the big leagues, pitching eight times in relief before he was demoted to Triple-A on Aug. 16. Three days later, he allowed six earned runs, five hits and two walks while recording only three outs against the Gwinnett Braves. The performance came on the heels of Fulmer allowing 11 earned runs in his final six appearances in the big leagues. At that point he turned to Dotson, a 22-game winner in 1983 who spent 12 seasons in the big leagues. Rather than finding a player hurt by his struggles, Dotson found one motivated to improve.

"He was ready," Dotson said. "He hadn't been tainted by the game or by what you think it should be or what you think you are. He's a good kid. He's down to earth. He's going to talk. He's going to listen. And he gives you the respect of doing that, which is a big thing."

The suggestions were simple -- Fulmer needed to be more fluid in his delivery. He also needs to stand taller to allow him to throw with more angle on his pitches as his fastball too often was flat.

The message resonated and Fulmer began to apply it with immediate success. Over his final three starts of the season, Fulmer allowed a run, nine hits and walked three with 15 strikeouts in 14 innings. 

The 2015 first-rounder -- the No. 5 prospect in the organization -- feels like the changes have carried over to this spring. He's been able to stay on top of the ball and keep it low in the zone. On Saturday, that translated to three strikeouts after Fulmer worked out of trouble in the first inning. Fulmer threw strikes on 22 of 34 pitches.

"The coaching staff has told us young guys that in order to be a good pitcher in the big leagues, you have to have failure at one point," Fulmer said. "Last year for me I had some struggles. I needed to learn more about myself and my ability. I got kicked around a little bit and I think that's beneficial for me. It definitely helped me prepare myself for this year and really get ready to have a good year. It's a new year. I have high expectations for myself and really looking forward to having the opportunity to prove myself once again."

Dotson is impressed with how Fulmer has conducted himself. And he's eager to see how the changes work over the long haul.

"It says a lot because we're all going to go through it, we're all going to have those times," Dotson said. "We go through that stuff. The quicker we get out of it the better. But it's part of the deal and it's an easy game, but it ain't that easy. A lot of times it gets in your head. I'm looking forward to him going out and showing what he can do and to improve on that."