MLB Power Rankings: Dodgers are back, Yankees too?
Where would the Yankees be with a healthy Carlos Rodón and Frankie Montas? If the Mets had a healthy Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and José Quintana all year, how different would their season look right now?
Whether it’s the pitch clock, enhanced checks for sticky stuff or complete randomness in a world in which velocity remains at an all-time high, pitchers have been dropping at a relatively alarming rate early this year. Odds are decent your favorite team has dealt with it at some point this year.
This week’s power rankings also provide an update on some of the latest pitching injuries around MLB.
1) Tampa Bay Rays (31-11; last week 1)
A Rays rotation already missing Tyler Glasnow to start the season has now lost Jeffrey Springs (2-0, 0.56 ERA) to Tommy John surgery and Drew Rasmussen (4-2, 2.62 ERA) to a flexor strain. At some point, one would think they can’t keep this up while sustaining all these injuries, right? … Right?
2) Los Angeles Dodgers (26-15; LW 3)
The Dodgers had some poor luck to start the year both with their bullpen and starting pitchers — Tony Gonsolin sprained his ankle coming off a mound in spring and Ryan Pepiot suffered an oblique injury after winning a spot in the rotation — but have since stayed quite healthy, save for Noah Syndergaard’s bloody finger.
3) Atlanta Braves (25-15; LW 2)
Yeesh. It’s not quite Rays-ian, but the Braves have had little starting pitching injury luck. Kyle Wright’s shoulder is wrong; he exited his start on May 3 with a shoulder strain. Days later, the Braves found out Max Fried strained his forearm and will be down for months. The former was a 21-game winner last year; the latter finished second in Cy Young voting. It’s not clear when either will return.
4) Baltimore Orioles (26-14; LW 4)
The Orioles have gotten out to their early success despite a 4.81 starters’ ERA. John Means could add to that group sometime this summer as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The bullpen could also get a boost from Dillon Tate (flexor strain) before the end of this month.
5) Toronto Blue Jays (24-16; LW 5)
Five pitchers have made all 40 starts for the Blue Jays this year. Soon, Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, Chris Bassitt, Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios will get some help behind them as Mitch White prepares for a return from elbow inflammation potentially by month’s end. The Blue Jays should also get Hyun-Jin Ryu back from Tommy John rehab sometime this summer.
6) Texas Rangers (25-15; LW 7)
There is suddenly a deGromian-sized hole atop the Rangers’ rotation. Luckily, Nathan Eovaldi is doing his best to fill it. Jacob deGrom is likely out at least another couple weeks with forearm tightness. The Rangers’ rotation already took a hit to its depth with trade acquisition Jake Odorizzi lost for the year due to shoulder surgery.
Ezequiel Duran hits two-run homer in Rangers’ 5-0 victory over Athletics
7) New York Yankees (23-19; LW 13)
Carlos Rodón is back to throwing. That’s … something? It’s unclear at this point how long the major free-agent signing will need in his throwing program before he’s back on a mound and able to help a Yankees rotation that’s also missing Frankie Montas (60-day IL) and Luis Severino (15-day IL), who could return soon from a lat strain.
8) Minnesota Twins (23-18; LW 14)
Remember when the Twins finally had their whole stable of starters in April? Well, that is no longer the case. Tyler Mahle was removed from his April 27 start and needs Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda, who returned from TJ in early April was back on the IL by the end of the month with a triceps strain. In Maeda’s stead, Bailey Ober has looked awesome.
9) Arizona Diamondbacks (23-18; LW 9)
The bullpen has taken hits, most notably to 2022 All-Star Joe Mantiply, but the most important members of the rotation have stayed healthy as young talent gets infused. Zach Davies is on the mend from an oblique injury and could be back sometime this month.
10) Houston Astros (21-19; LW 11)
One step forward, two steps back. Lance McCullers Jr. is on the mend from his elbow strain, now back to throwing bullpens, but Luis Garcia is undergoing Tommy John surgery and José Urquidy was shut down earlier this month due to shoulder inflammation. He may not return until around the All-Star break, thinning out an already lighter rotation. J.P. France to the rescue.
11) Milwaukee Brewers (23-17; LW 12)
The Brewers’ rotation has performed admirably considering Brandon Woodruff hasn’t pitched in more than a month due to shoulder inflammation, Corbin Burnes hasn’t completely looked like himself and the rotation was already without 24-year-old Aaron Ashby, who underwent shoulder surgery.
Christian Yelich launches home run to bring Brewers to a 1-1 tie with Royals
12) Boston Red Sox (22-19; LW 6)
Mostly positive news here. Brayan Bello is back and getting better results, and Garrett Whitlock is closing in on a rehab assignment as he recovers from an elbow issue. Joely Rodríguez is returning from his oblique injury, set to help a Red Sox bullpen that just blew two saves this weekend.
13) Pittsburgh Pirates (22-19 LW 10)
This is a team capable of withstanding pitching injuries, though there haven’t been many. Vince Velasquez might only need the minimum 15 days on the injured list with his elbow inflammation, and young talents Johan Oviedo and Luis Ortiz are getting their opportunity while Mitch Keller dominates.
14) Philadelphia Phillies (20-20; LW 22)
Losing José Alvarado to an elbow issue is a really tough blow considering the way he uplifted a scuffling bullpen early this year. He could start throwing again in the coming week. Meanwhile, Ranger Suarez is back in action in the rotation.
Padres’ Juan Soto is BACK, Bryce Harper will make the ASG & more overreactions
15) Seattle Mariners (20-20; LW 17)
Losing Robbie Ray to Tommy John surgery was not part of the plan. On the bright side, Bryce Miller is here to ease the pain. The bullpen has managed to post the lowest ERA in MLB despite being without flamethrower Andrés Muñoz (deltoid strain) for the past month.
16) Los Angeles Angels (21-20; LW 15)
It has been a regrettable start to the season for José Suarez, who had a 9.62 ERA when he was removed from a start with shoulder discomfort on May 7 and placed on the injured list. Shohei Ohtani (4-1, 2.74 ERA) and Patrick Sandoval (3-2, 3.22) have lowered an Angels rotation that currently sports a 4.85 ERA.
17) San Diego Padres (19-22; LW 8)
Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha have each made seven or more starts. The biggest losses have been in the bullpen, where the Padres are still without Robert Suarez, who signed a five-year extension in November.
18) Chicago Cubs (19-21; LW 18)
This is a healthy group, and a starters’ ERA in MLB’s top 10 reflects that. Kyle Hendricks also appears close to a return.
19) Cleveland Guardians (19-21; LW 19)
Triston McKenzie is getting closer to a rehab assignment, which is great news for a Cleveland rotation that is missing Aaron Civale due to an oblique strain and has seen eight different pitchers log a start this year. Guardians starters are 9-12 with a 4.08 ERA as a group despite encouraging starts from rookies Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen.
Josh Naylor crushes three-run homer to give Guardians the lead vs. Angels
20) New York Mets (20-21; LW 16)
Finally, both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander appear healthy. I feel nervous even typing that.
21) Miami Marlins (20-21; LW 21)
Marlins saves leader A.J. Puk was placed on the injured list Sunday with elbow irritation. Miami has been without Johnny Cueto (biceps tendinitis/ankle sprain) and Trevor Rogers in the rotation for most of the past month, but it’s Eury Perez time, baby!
22) San Francisco Giants (17-23; LW 20)
Outside of relievers Luke Jackson and Thomas Szapucki, this group is healthy. The Giants’ bullpen (5.95 ERA) has been an issue, though.
23) Cincinnati Reds (18-22; LW 24)
Starter Nick Lodolo was placed on the injured list with left calf tendinosis. Lodolo was scratched from his start Saturday, a game in which reliever Casey Legumina also got injured. The Reds currently have nine pitchers from the 40-man roster on the injured list.
24) Detroit Tigers (18-21, LW 23)
It’s possible Tarik Skubal (flexor tendon surgery) and Matt Manning (fractured foot) return from the 60-day injured list sometime this summer. Until then, enjoy Eduardo Rodriguez tearing up the league.
25) St. Louis Cardinals (16-25; LW 28)
Jake Woodford could return from his shoulder issue sometime this month. With Adam Wainwright back, the Cardinals’ rotation is healthy. Now, it’s just about performance. Jordan Montgomery (4.11 ERA) is the only Cardinals starter with an ERA under 4.50.
Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado belts a DEEP solo homer to trim deficit against Red Sox
Nolan Arenado’s solo homer in the seventh inning helped the St. Louis Cardinals trim the deficit against the Boston Red Sox
26) Colorado Rockies (17-24; LW 27)
Saturday was a scary sight as starter Ryan Feltner suffered a skull fracture and concussion on a comebacker to the mound. The Rockies said he has been discharged from the hospital. Colorado’s rotation took a major hit with Germán Márquez undergoing Tommy John surgery.
27) Washington Nationals (17-23; LW 25)
Starter Chad Kuhl could return from his right big toe injury sometime this month. The Cade Cavalli Tommy John news puts a damper in a rebuilding year in Washington.
28) Chicago White Sox (14-28; LW 26)
Seeing Liam Hendriks back on a mound was just delightful. He is expected to return to the White Sox this month, which will be a wonderful sight to see as he returns from cancer. He should be a huge addition for a Chicago bullpen that has a 5.97 ERA.
Luis Robert Jr., Seby Zavala fuel White Sox’s 3-1 victory over Astros
29) Kansas City Royals (12-30; LW 29)
Kris Bubic underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of April, a tough blow for one of the few promising stories in the Kansas City rotation.
30) Oakland Athletics (9-33; LW 30)
Mason Miller always provided a reason to tune in to Athletics games. Now, we can’t even get that.
Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports. He previously was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.
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