Cubs

MLB Power Rankings: Baseball back in a big way in New York

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MLB Power Rankings: Baseball back in a big way in New York

While the Houston Astros have fallen back to reality a bit, the aging Yankees and up-and-coming Mets are proving that baseball is back in a big way in New York. Oh yeah, and some guy named Bryce Harper is taking the nation's capital by storm.

With that comes another week of MLB Power Rankings from CSNChicago.com's Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz. Stay tuned for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Rank Team
Last Week Comment
1 1

Ran into a brick wall in Pittsburgh over the weekend, but still the unquestioned leader atop every rankings.

2   4

They're crushing the ball, scoring at will and lead MLB in run differential.

3   3

Not that their bullpen needed to get better, but Ryan Madson’s resurgence (1.62 ERA after three years out of the majors) has been huge. 

4   5

Michael Pineda has a 54/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, though they’ll need to get Masahiro Tanaka back to keep their rotation from crumbling.

5 2

Enter the week with a five-game cushion in the AL West, which has been surprisingly sub-optimal this year.

6   6

Bartolo Colon has a 40:1 BB:K ratio. UN. REAL.

7 13

Bryce Harper on pace for 132 Rs, 56 HRs, 142 RBI, 137 BBs...and he won't be 23 until October.

8 7

Victor Martinez and Kyrie Irving have something in common: They’re both struggling to play on essentially one healthy leg. 

9 16

Mark Buehrle has a 6.00 ERA and has allowed six home runs in six starts.

10   8

Second in the NL in runs scored and Matt Kemp still has yet to heat up.

11   11

Andrew McCutchen has 8 hits in his last 20 at-bats and is still hitting only .223. That's how slow his start was.

12   14

Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer have held up a rotation besieged by injuries so far. 

13 15

Dee Gordon is hitting .509 (29-for-57) at home. Uhhh...

14 9

Have lost 7 of 9, can't find a way to beat the Brewers and pitchers struggling to get anybody out. Rough stretch for these young Cubs.

15 18

They have a 4.49 rotation ERA and a .698 team OPS. And yet, they’re 18-14 entering the week.

16 25

They're 14-16 with a +18 run differential? Don't see that one everyday.

17 12

Allowing 1.19 home runs per nine innings, the highest rate among American League clubs. 

18 17

Add the OPS of Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta together and you get .715. 

19 19

Even with Nelson Cruz hitting better than anyone in baseball, this lineup still has a .691 OPS, seventh-worst in baseball. 

20   22

Billy Hamilton can steal bases, but he has just a .563 OPS. Yikes.

21 21

They're on a roll and Hunter Pence's return is just around the corner.

22 20 Clay Buccholz, Justin Masterson, Joe Kelly and Wade Miley all have ERAs over 5.00. In related news, pitching coach Juan Nieves was fired last week. 
23   23

Don't look now, but the Bravers are clear winners of Shelby Miller (1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) for Jason Heyward (.683 OPS) trade with STL.

24 26

They’ve won every series they’ve played at home, but have to fix that 2-11 road record.

25 24

Corey Kluber’s 3.20 FIP is encouraging in light of his 5.04 ERA, but he still hasn’t been close to his 2014 Cy Young dominance.

26 10

Losers of five in a row entering the week and are nine games under .500, but these are the A’s, so counting them out this early would probably be foolish.

27 27

They had to option Rougned Odor down to the minors last week. Too bad they didn’t call up his brother, who’s also named Rougned Odor, to replace him on the roster.

28 29

Hey, if they played the Cubs every series, they'd be in the Top 10 on these rankings.

29 28

On April 25, Rockies were 10-7. Since then, COL has gone 1-10 with four rainouts.

30   30

They've scored 91 runs in 32 games. Gross.

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist won't win the Comeback Player of the Year award this winter, but maybe he can take home a Grammy for Best New Artist?

The Cubs veteran infielder/outfielder posted a hilarious video on his Instagram Wednesday night showcasing how he's been spending October after the Cubs were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs after on the third day of the month.

It's a fantastic music video of Zobrist lip-syncing to Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" while he nearly knocks the TV off the wall of his home by swinging the bat indoors pretending to hit off Clayton Kershaw and frolicking around a field that looks shockingly similar to Hershel's farm from the second season of "The Walking Dead":

View this post on Instagram

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

Zobrist also posted a lengthy caption on his perspective on the Cubs' disappointing end to the season:

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) 
Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not
Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. 
I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. 
What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. 
To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year....
I will wait for you....

Come for the Zobrist lip sync, but stay for the 37-year-old using a bat as a guitar while wearing a sleeveless shirt and rocking an old-timey top hat.

A year ago, Zobrist completely reshaped his offseason workout plan after three straight years of playing deep into October. It appears he's added another new trick to his winter workout — hopping over fences even though there is a clear opening just a foot away.

Hey, whatever works...

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.

[MORE: The most underrated storyline of the Cubs offseason]

The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.

Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below: