On one hand, you’ve got a shortstop who had an awful .243/.281/.365 in the first four seasons of his career, clustering him among no-hit wonders like Ramon Santiago and Clint Barmes. You can wave away some of this as a mirage, starting with an off-the-charts .400 batting average on balls in play that’s 106 points above league average and 115 points above his previous career high for a full season, and that’s a monstrous fluke.
ESPN.com Despite some up-and-down play from each last week, there was no change in the top five in this week's Power Rankings. But look past the Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles, and there was a lot of movement in the second half of the top 10 as teams make their own moves up in the standings. Let's start with this week's biggest gain, as the Texas Rangers moved up seven slots to break into the top 10 on the strength of a 10-game win streak that brought them back over .500 to recover from their slow start to the season. The Colorado Rockies moved ahead of the Chicago Cubs to No. 6 and are knocking on the door of the top five. The
Giants’ Brandon Belt, Buster Posey won’t discuss on-field tiff ST. LOUIS — Catcher Buster Posey and first baseman Brandon Belt declined Sunday to explain an incident between them in the final moments of Saturday night’s 3-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. With the Giants an out away from securing the 13-inning victory, Fox TV cameras caught Posey hollering at Belt after Stephen Piscotty stole second base. Posey appeared to be upset that Belt did not hold Piscotty close to the bag before the theft, despite Posey’s signal for Belt to do so. Fox color man A.J. Pierzynski, a retired catcher, noted it on the telecast. After Matt Carpenter flied out to end the game, Belt gave Posey an icy stare in the handshake line, after which Posey apparently turned to say something to the first baseman. Belt responded similarly, saying, Nothing really happened. On May 3 in Los Angeles, the Giants and Dodgers were tied 1-1 in the 10th inning at a time when the Giants were struggling nightly to score. Third-base coach Phil Nevin held Belt at third (amid some dispute whether Belt slowed during his advance). Even amateur lip readers could decipher Posey’s words, which were not complimentary toward the first baseman. Manager Bruce Bochy said does not expect Pence (left hamstring strain) to return in the upcoming four-game series in Chicago, saying, “I would be surprised if he plays.” Pence is eligible to return from the disabled list Tuesday. … Neither the Cardinals nor Giants have swept a series of at least three games between them since a 2001 Giants sweep at AT&T Park. The Giants are 10-16 in games started by right-handed pitchers and 9-10 when a lefty starts — surprising given their left-handed heavy lineup.