IBL Power Rankings: Week 11

As the transaction deadline has come and gone, the real season begins as the calendar prepares to turn to August. Teams now know what they have for the stretch run and the playoffs, and while some teams overhauled their rosters, others decided to stay status quo. Which teams made the right decisions? Time will tell.

#8. London Majors (8-17, Previous Week: 6)

London is in freefall mode, having lost five straight games and it looks like things might get worse before they get better. Rotating in and out import pitchers, they haven’t found the right fit to go along with Owen Boon in the rotation and the results have not been kind to them. They also were unable to add any pieces to improve their league worst offense. It’s tough to see how the Majors get back into the race this season.

#7. Brantford Red Sox (6-24, Previous Week: 8)

Winners of two out of three, the Red Sox have played significantly better baseball of late. It’s clear the offense is not the problem, and the pitching has improved, but this team is having a difficult time playing good defense. Their league leading 74 errors is much higher than the next closest team (Barrie with 47), however the addition of Cris Ruiz behind the plate should help stabilize things in that aspect at least slightly. If Brantford can start playing better defense, they will be an interesting team to watch down the stretch.

#6. Guelph Royals (11-18, Previous Week: 7)

This team is about to get a whole lot scarier. The return of the greatest hitter in league history and last year’s league MVP on the mound make the Royals a serious candidate to pull off a first round upset. Coming off a season where he was virtually unbeatable, Claudio Custodio gives the Royals a pitcher that matches up with every team’s ace, and Sean Reilly will add some thump to a lineup that desperately needs it. Watch out for Guelph in the coming weeks.

#5. Hamilton Cardinals (15-14, Previous Week: 3)

Talk about an overhaul. General Manager George Halim was by far the busiest GM at the deadline this week, with 14 players either being released, signed, or moved to the inactive list. With the recent injury to Logan Walters, the additions to the pitching staff will be welcome for Manager Dean Castelli, however if they don’t live up to expectations it could be a long rest of the season for a team that has looked so promising to this point.

#4. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-14, Previous Week: 5)

The Leafs were surprisingly quiet at the deadline, and unfortunately with how the rosters look at the moment, they are severely lacking starting pitching depth. Their offense is still as dangerous as ever, and the bullpen looks like it’s been solidified, but they will be counting on a couple of starters that haven’t been awfully consistent to get them over the top. While it’s certainly possible their offense is good enough to get them over the hump, but it’s hard not to look at their deadline as a missed opportunity.

#3. Kitchener Panthers (18-11, Previous Week: 2)

As expected the Panthers stood pat at the deadline, however they did recently add starter Yadien Martinez into the fold last weekend. The question for Kitchener remains the same as it has all season. The offense will certainly do its part, but will the pitching be good enough down the stretch? This weekend was encouraging from that standpoint, and this next month will offer far more clarity.

#2. Barrie Baycats (18-9, Previous Week: 3)

Injuries have plagued this Baycats recently, but they have been able to keep their heads above water regardless, and their depth is a big reason why. In terms of position players, only Welland has a deeper roster, and Barrie has needed every bit of that recently. A relatively quiet deadline for the team up north, but their moves were made earlier in the season. If they can find someone to be a legitimate number two starter behind Garces, this team could easily find themselves lifting the trophy when all is said and done.

#1. Welland Jackfish (24-6, Previous Week: 1)

It feels like a broken record at this point. Week in and week out the Jackfish showcase why they are the cream of the crop. Riding a 10 game win streak, this team is showing no signs of letting up. Every addition they have made has improved their team, and it has shown in the results. Their biggest enemy now will be complacency. Will they stay hungry through the end of the season and continue to be a juggernaut or will they leave the door cracked open for another team to take their spot at the top? If this team remains motivated, it will be incredibly difficult to stop them from achieving the ultimate goal.