Now that the calendar officially says Spring has begun, Spring Training injuries start to get more and more important. Injuries early in camp have time to heal and players still have time to catch up, injuries occurring now can linger into the regular season and rehab can eat into a player’s important playing time leading up to Opening Day. Here’s a look at some of the biggest injury news of the week:

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Seems like Andre Ethier followed Natalie Portman’s advice in Garden State a little too closely when she told Braff that The Shins will change your life.  Dodgers announced that Ethier would miss 10 to 14 weeks with a fractured tibia.  What is that, two days after I drafted Ethier in Tout Wars?  Two and a half?  One and one three-quarters of a tibia later?  All you can do is laugh.  A high-pitched, crazed laugh like when you lose your job, then step in an empty elevator shaft.  One of those real crazy laughs that you expect to hear from someone pushing a shopping cart filled with Ho-Ho boxes that have been removed of Ho-Hos and replaced with dog turds.  One of those kind of laughs.  Filling in for Ethier will be some combo of Scott Van Slyke, Carl Crawford, Kike Hernandez and Trayce Thompson, a group that could be summarized with:  Bleh, Meh, Jewish, Girl.  I removed Ethier from my top 100 outfielders and top 500.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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*balloons fall from the ceiling, sirens go off*  Oh my God, what did I win?  Little ol’ me was the winner of the “Only Person To Put Dustin Garneau In A Headline?!”  *more sirens, more balloons*  I’m also the winner of the first person ever to mention Dustin Garneau in a lede?!  *yet more balloons, yet more sirens*  Okay, what is it now?  I’m the first person to mention Dustin Garneau three times in one lede?  Great, can we kill the sirens?  My neighbors are gonna get annoyed.  What do I win anyway?  Dustin Garneau on my fantasy team?  That’s the worst prize ever!  So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an NL Only league that was hosted by Scott White at CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than Amanda Bynes.  This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat.  (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

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The Padres are probably the closest thing to your home league’s rosterbater. After trading for Craig Kimbrel last season, they’ve already flipped him to Boston. The latter move netted four good prospects, and while San Diego is still not a finished product, there are pieces that could start gelling together in the next year or two. Manuel Margot was the jewel of the Kimbrel return, and he’s a no-brainer to top this farm now. A butterfly flapped its wings in Panama and the fences were moved in, so San Diego trended towards neutral in 2014 after being considered an extreme “pitcher’s park” for a long time. It’s still no hitter’s haven, but the point being you don’t have to run screaming from their hitting specs.

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All year we’ve been ranking the top prospects closest to the majors. With September call-ups quickly approaching, this post is a little different. Instead of limiting the list to players with their rookie eligibility intact, this will include any players currently in the minor leagues regardless of their at bats or innings pitched totals. There’s a catch, though. It’s only going to list players who are currently healthy and on their team’s 40-man roster. If you see a big name omitted, it’s probably because they aren’t currently on the 40-man. That can still be manipulated of course, but if a player is already on the roster, it increases the chances they’ll get a look next month. I also decided to weed through it for players that I thought could actually have some relevance in fantasy. With guys like Domingo Santana, Trea Turner, and even Aaron Altherr already up, this isn’t exactly the sexiest group. But there are some nice players in here, and if they can find playing time, they could also help your fantasy team down the stretch. When looking at who to pick up, I’d recommend focusing on teams that are out of the playoff hunt and who may be more inclined to give their younger players a look. Zeroing in on injuries (or potential ones) is also a good move. I bolded a few of the names that I think are interesting gambles…

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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (6) | 2013 (14) | 2012 (8) | 2011 (8) | 2010 (20)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [77-85] NL West
AAA: [72-72] Pacific Coast League – Tucson
AA: [68-72] Texas League – San Antonio
A+: [75-65] California League – Lake Elsinore
A: [63-76] Midwest League – Fort Wayne
A(ss): [30-46] Northwest League – Eugene (2015: Tri-City)

Graduated Prospects
Jesse Hahn, RHP (traded to OAK)

The Gist
New general manager A.J. Preller wasted no time turning the league’s worst offense into the land of 1,000 outfielders this offseason. At the price of a few good prospects, Upton, Myers, and Kemp make up the new Padres starting outfield. Trea Turner, last year’s first round pick, is in a unique situation in that he’s technically been traded to the Nationals but will remain in the Padres’ minor league system until June. He ended up in top ten list limbo, but you can find some notes on him in the NL East roundup. Yangervis Solarte is projected to lead off and play third for San Diego, but both Will Middlebrooks and Cory Spangenberg could see time there this year. Keep them on the radar for NL-only leagues or deeper mixed formats. Spangenberg is technically still a prospect and as a utility infielder could also spell Gyorko at second base.

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The Arizona Fall League is over, but prospect season is in full swing. Razzball is posting fantasy-driven top ten prospect lists every Wednesday this offseason so be sure to check them out. While the AFL isn’t a long season, it features some of the better prospects in baseball and it’s worth looking back at a few of the top performers in the league this year. Moving forward, we’ll focus on the winter leagues. Big leaguers and prospects from many MLB organizations are still playing baseball! There are several leagues like this, but I tend to gravitate toward the Dominican Winter League the most. Players like Maikel Franco, Joc Pederson, and Rymer Liriano are just a few of the names you’ll find on the DWL rosters. Last year’s MVP, Gregory Polanco, created quite the buzz in 2014. The league runs until the end of December and I’ll check in on some of the performances there periodically in this Minor Accomplishments series. To follow along, you can live stream games here, here, and here. Just brush up on some Spanish first! Back to the AFL…here were this year’s top performers with some commentary:

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What a night! I spent last evening at Razzball’s Boston stop of the #32in32in32 tour kicking it with the one and only Nick Capozzi, Smokey (my new best friend) and a whole bunch of Razzaholics at the Greatest Bar in Boston (obnoxious Boston bar name alert). Though the focus was football, there was a whole lot of Daily Fantasy baseball talk with so many daily junkies in the building. A few conversations about lineup strategies and spending approaches came up. The overwhelming sentiment seemed to be how much cheaper hitters had gotten since the DraftKings acquisition of Draft Street. I’d have to agree, I also have to say I don’t dislike it. It’s made the format even more competitive and allowed me to get aces into my rotation more frequently, which I’m good with. As any good DraftKing knows it’s all about the pitching baby! Well, loyal Razzballers (Grey’s mom’s term?) today is no different. With a full slate of games and a full slate of pitchers to choose from I feel a little underwhelmed. I can say that there are only three starters who I’m actually excited to start today. One of which I’m taking on blind faith. Well maybe not quite blind becauseKyle Hendricks has been damn good since his call up (5-1, 1.66 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) and has put up three start starts of 20+ points on DK. The K rate leaves something to be desired but 3 straight starts of 7 innings or more makes up for the lack of punchouts. It doesn’t hurt that his price is cheap at $7,100, allowing you to target some high end bats in the early games.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Ughhhhh, is it the playoffs yet? Why does this year seem to be taking longer than ever before? Maybe it’s because I’m in only free leagues this year and I feel like I’m having my back blown out by my boy, Mandingo (google him, NSFW), in each and every one of them. I was graciously offered the opportunity to relinquish my fantasy baseball posts in order to give 100 percent of my focus on the football side of things as we are ramping up for America’s new favorite pastime. I thought to myself, “Beddict, you have a life; chickens to feed, male thong ads to shoot, and an endless supply of women to satisfy, therefore none could truly blame you for focusing all your efforts into football. It’s not your fault Bryce Harper is a tool and Ryne Sandberg is the worst manager in baseball. MOST of your other advice has worked out splendidly. You’ve done enough…..” FEAR NOT, my friends, for the day I walk away from writing for baseball is the day Grey and Rudy show up at my immaculate abode, Chinese finger trap my bottom b*tch, film it, stomp me out afterward, and take back my framed Razzball certificate of employment. I know for a fact that I have at least TWO readers who enjoy these posts and I absolutely refuse to let them down as Nicolas Cage has his fans with his seemingly endless supply of duds. Yes, these next few weeks shall be permeated with more Beddict than ever before, covering both baseball and football, and that, my friends, is what’s known as a “Tehol Twofer.” That term is ordinarily reserved for when I sexually pulverize two women, back to back, but I believe this was newsworthy enough to borrow the term, though I’m borrowing it from myself, so I suppose it doesn’t matter. ANYWAY, let’s hop right in. I missed some action due to the fact I was reeling in Tyee’s up in Canada, but per usual, I’ll be giving it 110 percent. This is, Disgrace/Delight.

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Yu Darvish hit the DL with elbow inflammation.  In Grey’s 2nd half rankings, he said, “BAM!  What?  (Darvish) should be in the top 20 with the rest of the big-name pitchers, but I’m worried about an injury, so I ranked him much lower and that gets a BAM!”  And that’s me quoting Grey!  Dayum, son, Grey called that one.  Sure, he called it so long ago that no one even remembers it, but he called it neverthehoo!  Actually sounds a bit like Grey is writing this.  Oh, shoot, here he comes!  Hey, who wrote those previous, beautifully written sentences?  Sure as heck wasn’t me!  Guess that’s what I get for leaving my computer open at a Starbucks while I order a double foam, half-Sanka, half-espresso mocha, goochie, goochie, ya ya latte, LaBelle-style.  Well, I told you I had concerns about Darvish and when I have concerns, I make it happen with my mind like some crazy, telekinetic-fantasy-baseball-Scott-Baio-in-Zapped mofo!  The Rangers haven’t given a timetable for Darvish’s return yet, but like I also said in the 2nd half rankings, the Rangers have nothing to play for so they could shut him down.  Give him more time with his lady friends.  What does Darvish’s girlfriend call Yu’s erections?  YD Bulger, and it’s in hiding.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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