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WEST PALM BEACH Jeurys Familia Jersey , Fla. (AP) — Now that Jose Altuve is back playing Grapefruit League games, Houston manager A.J. Hinch wants the 2017 AL MVP to see if he can improve the way he turns double plays.“The only thing I’ve asked him to focus on for the rest of the spring is his turns at second base,” Hinch said. “He’s really, really good, and we’re trying to make him even better.”A six-time All-Star and the 2015 AL Gold Glove winner, Altuve was part of 63 double plays turned by the Astros last season. That’s down from 86 in only 19 fewer games the year prior.“Those plays are huge for us,” Hinch said. “Our infield, the acrobatic plays that (third baseman Alex) Bregman makes and (shortstop Carlos) Correa makes on the left side of the infield, to complete the play with a double play is a small point of emphasis.”Altuve’s been working on his footwork and making smoother, quicker transfers from the glove to his throwing hand.“They think I’m getting better, so that’s big for me,” Altuve said.Left side soreness kept Altuve from playing in exhibition games since March 6. He returned on Friday night against the Cardinals, going 1 for 2 with a walk.Swinging unencumbered, Altuve hit a ball that caromed off the right leg of St. Louis pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon and into right field. He also hit a hard a one-hopper to short.“I missed playing with the boys,” Altuve said. “I felt really good today.”The Astros have been cautious this spring with Altuve after he underwent offseason knee surgery.He’s now 3 for 13 at the plate this spring, with all three hits being singles. He won’t make Saturday’s trip to play the Phillies in Clearwater but will play on Sunday against the Braves in Kissimmee.The Astros only have eight Grapefruit League games remaining but Altuve believes that’s enough time to get his swing ready for opening day.“Plenty,” Altuve said. While the baseball world awaits decisions from Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, we continue to inch ever closer to the start of spring training, with pitchers and catchers now roughly a month from reporting.As such, it's time for an updated look at our leaguewide power rankings, which were last shuffled on Dec. 14 in the wake of the winter meetings.As with any offseason power rankings, these took into account how complete the roster is and how active the team is expected to be, as well as the overall direction the franchise is headed.With that, here's an updated look at where all 30 teams stand:Updated Rankings1 Boston Red Sox2 New York Yankees3 Los Angeles Dodgers4 Houston Astros5 Chicago Cubs6 St. Louis Cardinals7 Atlanta Braves8 Washington Nationals9 Cleveland Indians10 Milwaukee Brewers11 New York Mets12 Tampa Bay Rays13 Philadelphia Phillies14 Colorado Rockies15 Oakland Athletics16 Pittsburgh Pirates17 Los Angeles Angels18 Minnesota Twins19 Arizona Diamondbacks20 Cincinnati Reds21 Chicago White Sox22 San Diego Padres23 Seattle Mariners24 San Francisco Giants25 Toronto Blue Jays26 Texas Rangers27 Kansas City Royals28 Detroit Tigers29 Miami Marlins30 Baltimore Orioles The Front-RunnersThe Red Sox rotation will get a major boost from a full season of Nathan Eovaldi.Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesTheBoston Red Soxstill need to make a decision on who will be closing games in 2019, but a full season with Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation and all the major pieces back from the highest-scoring offense in baseball is enough to keep them perched in the top spot.The New York YankeesandHouston Astroswill be their biggest competition for the AL pennant.The Yankees moved quickly to address their starting rotation, and they've shored up the infield with the additions of Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu. It still feels like there's a big move to be made if they so desire. If not, they're still good enough to be in the title hunt.Meanwhile Mike Piazza Jersey , the Astros have added Michael Brantley to the mix since these rankings were last updated. Acquiring another starting pitcher and pulling the trigger on a trade for J.T. Realmuto might be enough to vault them into the No. 1 spot, but for now, their outlook is still bright.On the National League side of things, theChicago CubsandLos Angeles Dodgersstill have the two most talented rosters despite an offseason devoid of impact additions.The Dodgers cleared their outfield logjam by sending Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to the Reds in a cost-cutting move, presumably clearing a path for top prospect Alex Verdugo in the process. The Cubs really need a bullpen arm or two but, overall, seem to be banking on better seasons from their incumbent talent more than anything. The ContendersThe Brewers upgraded the catcher position significantly when they signed Yasmani Grandal to a one-year deal.Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesWhile the Dodgers remain the clear favorite in the NL West, the Cubs have some serious competition in the NL Central.There's no denying that a lot went right for theMilwaukee Brewerson their way to the division title last season. That said, they're still a talented team and their juggernaut bullpen will again be a major factor. Trading for Madison Bumgarner, whom they've been linked to in trade talks throughout the offseason, would be a game-changer. Getting Yasmani Grandal on a one-year deal was inspired.Not to be forgotten, theSt. Louis Cardinalshave made the biggest offseason splash of any NL Central club with the acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt. They also added Andrew Miller to the bullpen, though another experienced late-inning arm would still be welcome.The NL East is also shaping up to be quite the battle.Even with the potential departure of Bryce Harper, theWashington Nationalslook dangerous. Adding Patrick Corbin to the starting rotation and plugging Victor Robles into a spot in the outfield could make this a better team post-Harper.TheAtlanta Bravesare the defending champs, and they're not going anywhere. A top-of-the-rotation starter would be nice, but there's a wave of prospect talent on the way, most of which resides on the pitching side of things.And then there's theNew York Mets, who have made it clear they're all-in on the 2019 season by holding on to their trade chips and adding Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, Jeurys Familia and J.D. Davis on top of the blockbuster trade to acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.TheCleveland Indiansalso belong in the contender category as clear favorites in a weak AL Central. They've done nothing to improve this offseason, though, and still have significant holes to fill in the outfield and at the back of the bullpen.Teams on the FringeCharlie Morton is the newest weapon on the Rays pitching staff.Bob Levey/Getty ImagesTheTampa Bay Rayswon 90 games last season on the strength of an innovative pitching approach. The addition of Charlie Morton, a full season of Tyler Glasnow and a healthy Brent Honeywell stand to make that group even better in 2019. Now if they could just find a middle-of-the-order run producer.A quiet winter from aPhiladelphia Philliesteam that promised to spend "stupid money" at the start of the offseason leaves them in danger of falling behind the pack in an active NL East. There's money to spend and plenty of in-house talent, so there's still time for their outlook to change. For now, they reside squarely on the fringe.TheColorado RockiesandOakland Athleticswere surprise postseason teams last season, but they have some glaring holes.The Rockies stand to lose their best reliever in Adam Ottavino, and last season'splus-35 run differential鈥攖he lowest of any playoff team bya wide margin鈥攕peaks to a team that played over its head a bit during a 91-win campaign.As for the A's http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-tebow-jersey , re-signing Mike Fiers was a nice move, but they're still at least a couple of proven starting pitchers away from a viable starting staff. They'll likely wait it out and pick through the remaining scraps on the market in February.Beyond that group lies four clubs that are tough to project鈥攖he Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks.The Pirates traded for Chris Archer and Keone Kela last summer with an eye toward contending in 2019, while the Angels have bolstered their rotation with the additions of Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill and signed Jonathan Lucroy to handle the staff as they try to make the most of the final two years of Mike Trout's contract. The Twins were a playoff team in 2017 and have added Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron to what was already a dangerous offense. The Diamondbacks stopped short of blowing things up after trading Paul Goldschmidt and still have enough talent to make a run at .500, though an eventual rebuild seems inevitable.With 11 teams in the "front-runner" and "contender" sections, these eight teams face an uphill battle trying to push their way into the postseason picture. Teams on the RiseTanner Roark will be a valuable innings-eater for the Reds.Mitchell Layton/Getty ImagesTheCincinnati Reds,Chicago White SoxandSan Diego Padresare three teams looking to climb out of the non-contender category this season.The Reds made upgrading the starting rotation a priority after finishing 25th in the majors with a 5.02 starters' ERA. Newcomers Tanner Roark and Alex Wood will join Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Anthony DeSclafani, though another outside addition remains a possibility.The White Sox are still in the mix for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, which should tell you all you need to know about their current mindset. Even if they don't land one of the free-agent superstars, the additions of Ivan Nova, Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay, along with the eventual arrival of Eloy Jimenez and others from the farm system, should make this a better team.Finally, the Padres have the best farm system in baseball and money to spend. Ian Kinsler will be a nice veteran addition to a young clubhouse, and rolling the dice on a rehabbing Garrett Richards could pay major dividends down the road. With a clear hole at third base, don't be surprised if Mike Moustakas joins former teammate Eric Hosmer in San Diego.If there's an out-of-nowhere playoff team like Oakland was a year ago, there's a good chance it will be one of these three clubs.The Non-ContendersIts only a matter of time before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes the league by storm.Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesTheBaltimore Orioles,Detroit Tigers, Kansas City RoyalsandMiami Marlins all began rebuilding prior to this offseason and will be looking to avoid 100-loss seasons in 2019.TheTexas RangersandToronto Blue Jaysare two more teams that appear destined for a retooling period, though the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will provide plenty of excitement in Toronto.That leaves theSan Francisco GiantsandSeattle Mariners.The Giants dragged their feet on a rebuild last offseason with ill-advised trades for Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, and they've made no movement toward blowing things up this winter, either. Ace Madison Bumgarner will be the first domino to fall once they come to their senses, which might not be until midseason.As for the Mariners, their current projected 25-man roster features 11 newcomers http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-tebow-jersey , so it's hard to know what to make of this group. Even with the addition of Yusei Kikuchi, they're light on pitching, and losing Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Jean Segura takes an undeniable bite out of the offense. They might still be competitive, but it's hard to envision them contending.Top Remaining Free AgentsAs a preview of what's to come this offseason, let's take a quick look at the top remaining free agents at each position.C: Martin Maldonado, Devin Mesoraco, Nick Hundley, Matt Wieters1B:Wilmer Flores, Mark Reynolds, Logan Morrison2B: Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe3B:Mike Moustakas, Yangervis SolarteSS:Manny Machado, Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Alcides EscobarOF:Bryce Harper, A.J. Pollock, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Avisail Garcia, Denard Span, Carlos GomezUT:Marwin Gonzalez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Derek DietrichDH: Evan Gattis Neil Walker Jersey , Matt Davidson,Hanley RamirezSP:Dallas Keuchel, Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez,Derek Holland, Clay Buchholz, Jeremy Hellickson, Marco Estrada, Edwin JacksonRHRP:Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino, Cody Allen, Shawn Kelley, Bud Norris, Greg Holland, Brad Brach, Sergio Romo, Ryan Madson, Adam WarrenLHRP:Jorge De La Rosa, Jake Diekman, Justin Wilson, Jerry Blevins, Tony Sipp, Dan JenningsAll stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.
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