Usually this space is reserved for some keen insights from the world of Major League Baseball by yours truly. This week is a little different, as I am making my first trip down to see the Bowie Baysox June 15.
I decided which game I was going to see based on my schedule and was not trying to coordinate it to see one of Bowie’s two pitching aces (right-hander Grayson Rodriguez or lefty D.L. Hall). But I happened to play my cards right and I am going to get to see Rodriguez make his home debut for the Baysox.
To date, Rodriguez is 5-0 in his seven starts at High-A and Double-A. He has tossed 33.1 innings, posting a 1.35 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, striking out 54 batters and allowing just two home runs. I can hardly wait to lay my eyes upon Rodriguez.
Tonight (June 14), Ross Grimsley and I will be talking with Baysox assistant GM Phil Wrye and play-by-play voice Adam Pohl. Just go to the PressBox Facebook page at 6 p.m. to watch us. (Watch the replay here.)
While the major-league team is having a season that can at times be very tough to watch, there are people to watch all over the place on this Bowie team. Hall is one very talented pitcher in his own right. To date, he has tossed 31.2 innings with a 3.13 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 56 strikeouts.
No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman is having quite a season in his first full season in the system. Rutschman is batting .294/.428/.571 with 10 homers and as many walks as strikeouts (28).
If you are thinking Rutschman should already be on his way to Norfolk to speed his way to the majors, think again. The most important thing he might be doing is spending time with the two pitchers I just mentioned.
I am not for a minute saying he’ll be held up for long, but I think when Rodriguez and Hall are pitching to Rustschman at Camden Yards (probably in early 2023), the time they’ll have spent at Bowie away from the spotlight and the media glare will have been invaluable.
I hope you’ll join our Zoom on Facebook Live tonight at 6:00 p.m. and remember, there are plenty of good seats still available to join me in Bowie Tuesday night. Go to baysox.com for ticket info and to find games that you’d like to stop by to see some very talented Orioles of the not-too-distant future.
Without further ado, here are my power rankings.
1. Tampa Bay Rays (42-24, No. 1 last week): After the first five weeks of the season, the Rays were 14-15. They’ve gone 28-9 in the last six weeks since then. That has to be pretty galling to the Yankees, who were 14-14 and have mustered up an inept 19-18 response.
2. Chicago White Sox (41-24, No. 3): I am not making this up. Manager Tony La Russa’s latest faux pas is putting Liam Hendriks into the bottom of the ninth in Detroit in a total cats-and-dogs rainstorm. He throws one pitch to Miguel Cabrera and then there was a rain delay of 49 minutes. When the game picked up, Hendriks was back on the mound and allowed his first runs since April 24. This bordered on malfeasance. Yet, the White Sox are widening their lead in the AL Central.
3. San Francisco Giants (40-25, No. 2): Interesting matchup this coming weekend, as manager Gabe Kapler’s last employer, the Philadelphia Phillies, come to town in a big series for both teams.
4. Oakland Athletics (40-27, No. 6): Sneaky good rotation of Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Cole Irvin and one-time ace Yankee prospect James Kaprielian gives the A’s a chance to win every day.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (39-27, No. 7): The schedule-maker fed the struggling Dodgers two bottom-feeders in the Pirates and Rangers this past week. Later this week, after the Phillies come to Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers get more help from the schedule in the form of a three-game series in Arizona. Will these two weeks be enough for the staggered Dodgers to regain their mojo?
6. Milwaukee Brewers (38-27, No. 8): The Brewers are like the NL version of the Rays. They are 17-4 in their last 21 games.
7. Houston Astros (37-28, No. 9): Seems as if manager Dusty Baker’s squad had a premonition that it was time they picked up the pace. The Astros are 22-13 in their last 35 games, a mark that has them back in the thick of things.
8. Boston Red Sox (39-27, No. 5): The early-season luster has worn off, but they’re still good enough to fit into a postseason berth.
9. San Diego Padres (38-29, No. 4): The Padres are just 4-9 in their last 13 games, which featured two series each with the Cubs and Mets. They have not developed winning ways mentality.
10. Chicago Cubs (38-27, No. 10): Like with other teams in this top 10, manager David Ross has his team on a 21-8 clip. The biggest turnaround is closer Craig Kimbrel. Flash back to his late signing in 2019 when he tossed 20.2 innings and gave up nine homers with a 6.53 ERA. Then in 2020 he threw just 15.1 innings with a 5.28 ERA. So far in 2021, Kimbrel has 18 saves, a 0.66 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in 27.1 innings. Oh, and he has 45 strikeouts to boot.
11. New York Mets (32-25, No. 11)
12. Cleveland Indians (34-28, No. 12)
13. Toronto Blue Jays (33-30, No. 14)
14. Philadelphia Phillies (32-31, No. 20)
15. New York Yankees (33-32, No. 13)
16. Cincinnati Reds (32-31, No. 17)
17. Los Angeles Angels (33-32, No 22)
18. Kansas City Royals (30-34, No. 16)
19. St. Louis Cardinals (32-33, No. 15)
20. Atlanta Braves (30-33, No. 18)
21. Seattle Mariners (32-35, No. 21)
22. Washington Nationals (27-35, No. 19)
23. Miami Marlins (29-36, No. 25)
24. Detroit Tigers (26-39, No. 24)
25. Minnesota Twins (26-39, No. 23)
26. Colorado Rockies (25-41, No. 27)
27. Texas Rangers (25-41, No. 28)
28. Pittsburgh Pirates (23-41, No. 26)
29. Baltimore Orioles (22-42, No. 29)
30. Arizona Diamondbacks (20-46, No. 30)