Cubs

MLB Power Rankings: McCutchen, Pirates are just fine, thanks

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MLB Power Rankings: McCutchen, Pirates are just fine, thanks

Remember when Andrew McCutchen was hitting .188/.279/.292 on May 6? Everybody was freaking out. The Pirates had just lost five straight and things seemed very bleak in Pittsburgh. All McCutchen has done since then is hit .353 with a 1.040 OPS and the Pirates are now firmly planted as the second-best team in Major League Baseball...even if they aren't even leading their own division. Hey, what can we say? The NL Central is just that good.

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 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

Rank Team
Last Week Comment
1 1

Matt Carpenter since June 1: .194 AVG, .568 OPS...yet the Cardinals are still winning.

2   6

Pirates are 21-9 since June 1 while Andrew McCutchen has a .951 OPS in that span.

3 2

*Only* four Royals made the AL All-Star starting lineup, and Omar Infante — much to the happiness of MLB officials, most likely — wasn’t one of them.

4   4

Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers have done well to offset Collin McHugh’s regression (4.54 ERA in ’15, 2.73 in ’14).

5 3

Bryce Harper hit the most American home run in history Saturday.

6 5

At no point this season has Zack Greinke's ERA been above 1.97. So unreal.

7 12

Followed up a tough series in St. Louis by taking 5 of 6 from Mets, Marlins.

8 15

Despite all the front office vs. dugout drama, they’ve won eight of their last 10 and are three games out of first entering the week.

9 11

Alex Rodriguez (16 HR, 2.2 WAR) is legitimately deserving of an All-Star bid.

10 7

Rough week saw them lose three of four to Texas and two of three to the White Sox.

11   13

Scoff all you want, but they’re four games over .500 at the halfway point of the season and they just got Ervin Santana back. 

12 10

That 17-23 record in the United States has gotta get better for Drake to really jump on their bandwagon.

13 9

Two wins in their last 10 games but only two out of first place. The AL East, everybody!

14 8

Six straight losses have sunk them in this week's rankings.

15 14

Miguel Cabrera is out for six weeks and Justin Verlander just gave up seven runs in five innings against Toronto. Not looking good at the midway point in the Motor City.

16 16

That offense is borderline pathetic. The only guys with an OPS over .800 are Travis d'Arnaud - in only 19 games - and Steven Matz, a pitcher.

17 18

David Peralta - a converted pitcher - is turning into a nice hitter: .804 season OPS, hitting .340/.446/.617 since June 23.

18 17

Josh Hamilton has to stay healthy for them to have any real shot at making a run in the second half.

19 19

Cameron Maybin keeps doing his thing and may be a hot trade deadline piece.

20   25

Five games under .500 but lurking — their pitching staff has the best FIP in the American League (3.54).

21 22

Only six out of first place in an AL East that may cannibalize itself. Not too early for them to give up.

22 23 Hisashi Iwakuma is back this week and should provide a much-needed boost to a lagging preseason favorite.
23 20

Hard to determine how they should play the deadline. They have enough pieces to turn things around and contend, but don't want to miss opportunity to sell high on Justin Upton, an upcoming free agent.

24 21

Everybody knows Todd Frazier's HR prowess, but did you also know he's on pace for 49 2Bs and 16 SBs? Dude's a stud all around.

25 24

On paper, they don’t make any sense. All of their starters have an ERA under 3.70, they have a +49 run differential and are squarely in last place.

26 29

An 8-game winning streak is still not enough to have the Brewers climb out of the bottom 5.

27 27

Four-game winning streak was snapped on Sunday in a 9-1 loss that saw them commit four errors and a baserunning mistake. Just haven’t found that consistency yet.

28 26

The National League is looking pretty bottom-heavy, with 4 of the last 5 teams on the rankings from the Senior Circuit.

29 28

Their lineup vs. the Cubs all weekend featured Adeiny Hechavarria, Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto 3-4-5. That's um...yikes.

30 30

Hey, at least they can win (sometimes) when Cole Hamels pitches.

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below:

 

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers.