Phil Rogers' MLB power rankings

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds

Adam Wainwright has the Cardinals at the top of the standings. (Jamie Sabau/Getty photo / June 7, 2013)

Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Cardinals (1): Only the Rockies can match their lineup. Nobody can match their balance, with Adam Wainwright right back where he was in 2009-10 as a Cy Young candidate.

2. Braves (4): Julio Teheran and Kris Medlen have picked it up to give them baseball's deepest rotation.

3. Tigers (5): Victor Martinez is shaking off the rust to give the top-heavy lineup more depth. The biggest question for GM Dave Dombrowski is what happens at shortstop if Jhonny Peralta goes down in the Biogenesis investigation.

4. Rangers (2): Did Ron Washington really allow Joe Nathan to warm up nine times in the 18-inning loss in Toronto? The real concern, however, is the health of lefty reliever Michael Kirkman, who is being treated for a recurrence of lymphoma in his triceps.

5. Red Sox (6): A plus-80 run differential ranked behind only the Cardinals and Tigers after Sunday.

6. Reds (3): Johnny Cueto, on the disabled list for the second time with a lat strain, has become a problematic ace.

7. Athletics (9): They could lose Bartolo Colon to a Biogenesis suspension but can count on a rich pitching pipeline to replace him, if necessary.

8. Yankees (12): Mark Teixeira has provided some life for the lineup since his return.

9. Rays (8): Impressive win for Chris Archer over the Orioles.

10. Pirates (7): Outfield defense is a huge plus for their pitchers. It's tough to get a ball between left fielder Starling Marte and center fielder Andrew McCutchen.

11. Orioles (10): How much longer can they let Kevin Gausman take his big league lumps?

12. Diamondbacks (11): Then-interim GM Jerry Dipoto made one of the best trades of the last decade in 2010 when he got Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Joe Saunders from the Angels for Dan Haren.

13. Giants (13): They don't win anymore when they don't score four-plus runs. The rotation ranked 13th in the NL with a 4.75 ERA.

14. Rockies (15): Roy Oswalt has made four solid starts in Double A and could be in the rotation soon. Why not?

15. Nationals (16): Jordan Zimmermann is the only starter pitching the way Mike Rizzo drew it up.

16. Dodgers (19): What will Yasiel Puig do next? Pirates manager Clint Hurdle called his play "electrifying,'' and he has seen Puig only on TV.

17. Phillies (18): Just when things were clicking, they lost their last three in a four-game series in Milwaukee. Signs are pointing upward.

18. Angels (17): Went 1-5 in a stretch against the Astros and Cubs, then dropped two of three in Boston. Vaunted lineup still is getting outhomered by the Rangers, even with Josh Hamilton changing sides.

19. Indians (14): Tough stretch for the pitching staff.

20. Royals (25): The AL's lowest bullpen ERA gives Ned Yost something to count on. But the consistent lack of run support for James Shields and his fellow starters is a problem that shows little sign of letting up.

21. Blue Jays (23): Four straight quality starts for Mark Buehrle, who could have a strong second half in him.

22. Padres (21): Worst stretch of his career for Clayton Richard, who is allowing opponents to slug .614.

23. White Sox (22): Win on Saturday over the A's was like a time warp. Big games from John Danks, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn.

24. Twins (20): Remaining ultrapatient with pitching prospect Kyle Gibson. Can it be long now?

25. Brewers (27): The White Sox took multitalented shortstop Tim Anderson with the 17th pick of the draft, which belonged to the Brewers until they signed 34-year-old Kyle Lohse, who is 2-6 with a 4.03 ERA in the first year of a three-year contract. The Brewers didn't pick until No. 54.

26. Cubs (26): Top draft pick Kris Bryant was selected at a time when the team is becoming concerned about shortstop Starlin Castro, signed to a seven-year contract last season. Hitting has become tough for Castro, who seemed like a natural when he got to Chicago at 20.

27. Mariners (28): Jeremy Bonderman's win Friday was his first since 2010.

28. Mets (24): Lost five straight to the Marlins since May 31, getting outscored 34-13.

29. Astros (29): Mark Appel could pitch in the big leagues this year, but the Astros have little motivation to put him in the express lane. Assuming he signs at the July 12 deadline, he'll probably get a long break before making a limited number of minor league starts and a trip to Instructional League.

30. Marlins (30): Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison are back and should provide a badly needed lift.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers

 

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