MLB Power Rankings: Week 17


MLB Power Rankings: Week 17

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 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 First Half Week 15 Week 16

JJ Comments 1
Tony: If they're this good without Votto, imagine when he returns.
JJ: Even sans Strasburg, they're a legit World Series contender.
Tony: Strasburg should just play OF when he's done pitching.
JJ: Chapman having an all-time great season for an RP.
Tony: Could have put Red Sox away this weekend, but didn't.
JJ: A Cliff Lee return would be nice, but doesn't help lagging O.
Tony: What's wrong with Josh Hamilton? JJ: Despite rough stretch, on cruise control in AL East.
Tony: Been hot, but nowhere near as hot as CIN.
JJ: Clear favorites for the first Wild Card.
Tony: Started the week still with a hole in their rotation.
JJ: Williams appears to be clear trade deadline winner.
Tony: Liriano a great move, but what will be done with Sale?
JJ: Desperately need another starter.
Tony: Really like the Hanley move for the Dodgahs, you guys.
JJ: They're legit. Run differential on par wloaded Angels.
Tony: Hunter Pence? Would put the G-men over the top...
JJ: At this rate, could battle A's in Wild Card playoff.
Tony: Fister, Scherzer are key down the stretch.
JJ: Wonder if they'll blink and give up talent for Dempster.
Tony: Will Greinke be able to handle the spotlight?
JJ: Go 2-4 after getting Sanchez, Infante.
Tony: Can't lose series to Cubs if they have playoff hopes.
JJ: Wonder if they can hang wLA without making a move.
Tony: They're in second place. It's almost August. Wow.
JJ: Currently buried by Reds, Pirates. But still hanging around.
Tony: Why don't they ever make moves at the deadline?
JJ: If Oakland falters, could re-enter Wild Card race.
Tony: Bautista's return on the horizon.
JJ: Loitering on the edges of the playoff race, but still there.
Tony: Still alive in the cluster that is AL East.
JJ: Santana's ERA above 5 since throwing no-no.
Tony: No way. Just...not gonna make it.
JJ: Bad run differential suggests a crash is looming.
Tony: Still have a 17 percent chance of making playoffs.
JJ: Begin big series vs. Dodgers on Monday.
Tony: Pretty much done for, I'd say. Will Choo be traded?
JJ: After drubbing at the hands of Twins, time to sell.
Tony: Keeping the ball down: How Dickey got his groove back.
JJ: Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Tony: Trade Johnson, Zambrano and start over.
JJ: 2012 season just an unmitigated failure in Miami.
Tony: Blow it up and start over. Trade Pence, Victorino.
JJ: Bad injury luck and a few down years have done them in.
Tony: What would keep fans interested in SEA right now?
JJ: Wonder if they'll field offers on Felix now or in offseason.
Tony: Started week only 2.5 games out of 4th!!
JJ: Went from fringe contender to seller in a matter of days.
Tony: Come in behind CHC because of awful 1-9 stretch.
JJ: 17-10 since Rizzo's call-up.
Tony: Why do they keep locking up best trade pieces?
JJ: Clayton Richard would be a nice pickup for someone.
Tony: They really couldn't have gotten more for Liriano?
JJ: Of all the teams to bury Cleveland, it was Minnesota that did.
Tony: Hosmer just needs a redo on this season.
JJ: No reason to keep Francouer with Myers crushing it in AAA.
Tony: Hey, remember when entire team forgot how many outs there were?
JJ: After a few pretty good years, have come apart in 2012.
Tony: Remember when they weren't the worst team in MLB?
JJ: Building a decent farm system, but they're years away.

Even with unproven wing depth, Bulls will monitor Otto Porter Jr.'s workload

Even with unproven wing depth, Bulls will monitor Otto Porter Jr.'s workload

As the Bulls played out the string last season, fielding glorified G League lineups, meaningful days still existed.

April 3 was one of them.

Not only did the Bulls scratch out a fun, one-point road victory over the Wizards, executive vice president John Paxson, coach Jim Boylen and general manager Gar Forman met with Otto Porter Jr. and his longtime strength coach from his alma mater of Georgetown.

That meeting mapped out Porter’s offseason plan and began the strong communication that continued Friday when Boylen and Porter met to discuss the organization’s approach for a proper workload for the crucial veteran. Following Sunday’s practice at the Advocate Center, Boylen for the first time publicly disclosed the Bulls’ plan to play Porter in the neighborhood of 30 minutes and approach back-to-back games on a case-by-case basis.

“We will manage him appropriately,” Boylen said. “He will not play over 30 minutes in anything we do to get going here. We’ll manage him on the off days in a real respectful way. Obviously, he’s a big piece. He’s our starting 3, a big wing. And we need him.”

The Bulls have a set of back-to-back games in this first week of the regular season, with their home opener against the defending NBA champion Raptors coming Saturday following a game at the Grizzlies Friday.

“We’ll see how he feels,” Boylen said. “It might be a situation where we manage him the first night in order to play him the second night. Or manage him the first night and the second night he feels maybe a night he doesn’t play. But we have a plan. It’s rough because it’s depending on how he feels.”

Right now, Porter feels good.

“Preseason has been great, making sure my body is healthy, making sure I get my reps in, making sure as a team we’re ready to go,” Porter said following practice. “I’ll hold it down for us until we get Chandler (Hutchison) back. That’s going to be always my job.

“But we got a lot of guards that can play the three too. We got a lot of guys that can play multiple positions. If somebody goes down, the next man always got to step up and replace – not replace but do more – and I feel like everybody is going to do more.”

Hutchison has yet to play with a hamstring injury. Shaq Harrison missed all five preseason games but is available for Wednesday’s opener in Charlotte, N.C.

Boylen said there are many options to keep Porter fresh even with Hutchison injured and Denzel Valentine currently out of the rotation, including Harrison or Tomas Satoransky at backup small forward and three-guard lineups. The Bulls also utilize big lineups with Thad Young at small forward.

“You’ve seen what we’ve done. We’ve had Coby (White), Arch (Ryan Arcidiacono) and (Kris) Dunn out there together. Playing small and fast is good. You can also put ‘Sato’ out there with that group,” Boylen said. “There may be opportunities where we go big depending on the situation of the game. We’ve practiced those lineups and scenarios.”

Porter played a huge role in the Bulls’ brief surge last February after arriving from the Wizards in a trade. He has battled nagging injuries in the past, including knee, shoulder and neck issues. Porter also underwent minor surgery on his left leg that knocked him out of the April 2018 playoffs to address a blood buildup around a contusion.

“Every season, there are ups and downs and teams go through it,” Porter said. “Right now, it’s a matter of depth and we want to start out fresh. You start out fresh, you’re already ahead of the game.”

Porter is encouraged by the Bulls’ offense during the preseason, including an increased emphasis on 3-point attempts.

“Right now, we might not be shooting a high percentage. But in the regular season, that number is definitely going to increase drastically because we’re practicing hard, making our open shots and just getting open looks,” Porter said. “We know what this offense can do for us.”

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

USA Today

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

The Bears just announced their inactive list, and as expected, Mitch Trubisky is ready to go: 

Trubisky and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols will both return after missing time with a dislocated shoulder and broken hand, respectively. Trubisky has been out since Week 4's game against the Vikings and Nichols hasn't played since breaking his hand against the Broncos. 

Reserve offensive lineman Ted Larsen will also return, his first game since hurting his knee against the Vikings as well. It'll up to Larsen and Rashaad Coward to fill in at guard, especially with Alex Bars being a healthy scratch. Long was put on IR earlier in the week, and while Coward took most of the first-team reps in practice, head coach Matt Nagy didn't rule out the possibility of rotating the two early in the game.