Ma nishtana, how is tonight different than every other night? Because there’s some G-D regular season baseball! Ah fanabla! The Padres aren’t wasting any time with bird sex or Joaquin Benoit either as they traded for Craig Kimbrel. Why do I get the sense that the Padres played 2,500 games of Strat-o-Matic this offseason and on Saturday it was 1249 to 1249 and they were like, “Nuh-uh, we didn’t pay $750 million in free agents to tie the World Series. We need to get to that twelve hundred and fifty-first win!” Then the Padres’ management patted themselves on the back saying they were Strat-o-Maticians like that wily Epstein guy. Then another Padre official even said he thought that guy’s name was Wily Epstein. So, Benoit now has the value of a film degree in Hollywood. “Well, we were gonna let Spielberg direct this film, but this guy over here has a Master’s degree!” In Atlanta, Jim Johnson or Jason Grilli could close games. A Braves official said Juan Jaime could even close games. I’m pretty sure he made up the name Juan Jaime. Grilli seems the most likely candidate, and this has all the makings of a situation where you’re so pumped to be the first one to the waiver wire to grab him until Grilli is actually closing games and giving up three runs in the one lead the Braves have every two weeks. Let’s get out of the lede to talk about the rest of the trade and actual baseball that was played last night! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

They say baseball is a game of inches. When ‘they’ say that, ‘they’ are wearing a plaid jacket and flood pants. They also have adult acne. But if baseball really is a game of inches, the Tigers are packing heat in their lineup like John Holmes. So, for all other teams’ fans, I ask you gently, Tigers, please don’t have good pitching too. I mean, besides Verlander and Scherzer and Fister and Anibal, because that would just be unfair. Yesterday, it appeared they had that with Rick Porcello. He went eight innings with zero earned runs, four baserunners and 11 Ks. After his eleventh K, the sound system played, “Rick’s a Jolly Porcello.” That is the best game I can remember from Porcello, by far, and I use all of his game logs as toilet paper, so I’d remember. I mean, what else am I doing in the john? Answering comments? Well, maybe. Just keep that in mind when you’re asking me who I’d drop. Porcello’s xFIP looks solid and his walks have always been stellar. The one flaw in his game I didn’t like was his ability to K people. So far this year, his K-rate is up and way up after yesterday. If you’re struggling to find a starter, I could see adding Porcello, but there’s risk because he does tend to have huge blow ups. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (14) | 2011 (16) | 2010 (14) | 2009 (27) | 2008 (18)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [61-101] NL Central
AAA: [53-87] Pacific Coast League – Iowa
AA: [72-68] Southern League – Tennessee
A+: [59-74] Florida State League – Daytona
A: [63-75] Midwest League – Peoria (Kane County beginning 2013)
A(ss): [37-39] Northwest League — Boise

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Dae-Eun Rhee (RHP); Kevin Rhoderick (RHP); Nick Struck (RHP); Tony Zych (RHP); Logan Watkins (2B); Rubi Silva (OF); Matt Szczur (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Anthony Rizzo (1B); Steve Clevenger (C); Welington Castillo (C)

The Run Down
Since Theo and his gang arrived, it’s been evident that the Cubs are on a better track. They traded for Anthony Rizzo, they signed Jorge Soler, they drafted well (it seems that way, at least), and they’ve added much-needed depth to their farm system via deals with Atlanta and Texas. In just one year’s time, it’s quite impressive how improved this system is. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when 2011 draftees, Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach, break out with huge statistical years. Still, the bottom-up impact that the Epstein-Hoyer regime has had on this organization cannot be denied. If it’s lacking anywhere, it’s in the starting pitching department — there simply aren’t many high-impact arms coming up. But the Cubs have ample dough to work around that shortcoming with signings at the big league level. It might be a few more years until they’re contenders in the NL Central, but it’s clear that that they’re headed in that direction. Oh, and there’s quite a bit of fantasy impact in the names below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America

2012 (15) | 2011 (2) | 2010 (9) | 2009 (6) | 2008 (8) | 2007 (15)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [89-73] NL East

AAA: [78-65] International League – Gwinnett

AA: [61-79] Southern League – Mississippi

A+: [60-78] Carolina League – Lynchburg

A: [60-80] South Atlantic League – Rome

R: [39-29] Appalachian League – Danville

The Run Down

The Braves have maintained a top-tier farm system over the past few years, and it’s still a quality system, but it’s only a few graduates away from looking rather depleted.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Atlanta Braves 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (13) | 2009 (6) | 2008 (8) | 2007 (16) | 2006 (7) | 2005 (5) | 2004 (4)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [91 – 71] NL East
AAA: [72 – 71] International League – Gwinnett
AA: [63 – 74] Southern League – Mississippi
A+: [58 – 82] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach
A: [59 – 80] South Atlantic League – Rome
R: [34 – 34] Appalachian League – Danville
R: [27 -31] Gulf Coast League

The Run Down
The Braves graduated only one player this past year, I think you’ve heard of him – Jason Heyward. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Atlanta Braves 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2009)
2009 (6) | 2008 (8) | 2007 (16) | 2006 (7) | 2005 (5) | 2004 (4)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [86 – 76] NL East
AAA: [81 – 63] International League
AA: [65 – 73] Southern League
A+: [53 – 84] Carolina League
A: [66 – 73] South Atlantic League
R: [47 – 21] Appalachian League
R: [26 – 34] Gulf Coast League

The Run Down
In the past couple of years, the majors has seen several prospects that have come from the Braves organization. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?