Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell
Send your questions now and join Bell in The Show on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Stephania Bell (4:06 PM)
Hey everyone: Sorry for the cdelay - couldn't locate my chat room - but here we are, already a bunch of questions so I'll get right to it...
What's the scoop on Raffy Furcal's injury and can we expect him back this season?
Stephania Bell (4:08 PM)
Hi Erik: Well all the Dodgers have revealed until now was that he had a low back strain - yet it kept acting up, more typical of a disc problem, which we now know that it is. He fits the profile, age, symptoms, etc. He is now going to have surgery and they say he'll miss at least 8 weeks - but the timetable fluctuates a great deal depending on the person. The good news is he's been doing all kinds of strengthening/rehab that should help him on the other side of surgery, but it remains uncertain whether he could really be back by September.
Jason J. (NJ)
Yo Starphania, what can you tell us about Kelvin Escobar? Is he coming back this year, and if so, will he be in the starting rotation or a bullpen role?
Stephania Bell (4:11 PM)
Hi Jason: The nickname seems to be catching on... Escobar has continued to surprise in his rehab. He is throwing all his pitches except his spliiter and feeling good. He's expected to start Monday in High-A ball. It has not been stated whether he'll work out of relief or come back to start, they may want to ease him back b/c endurance will certainly be a big question. But he keeps getting closer to actually returning, which I have to admit is not something I expected.
Sam (Lake Bluff)
Happy pre-4th of July Stephania! As a Cubs fan, I can't wait for Carlos Zambrano to return to the mound tomorrow against our rivals, the Cardinals. Do you expect Big Z to be fully healed or could he experience any setbacks during the game?
Stephania Bell (4:12 PM)
Hi Sam: Happy 4th to you too! Zambrano sure looks like he feels fine - and his injury did not seem to be major when it happened, more of a scare. The move for him to rest was probably to protect him from himself more than anything. There's always the risk of another flare-up with a pitcher with shoulder/elbow issues, but given how this one presented and the relatively short symptom duration, I like his chances of an uneventful second half.
Let me make sure I have this right, my favorite injury guru: Furcal _might_ be back by September . . . coming off surgery . . . just in time for fantasy playoffs. Sounds like he's not worth holding onto, huh?
Stephania Bell (4:13 PM)
Hi Mike: I would say not - it's too risky.
Steve (Houston, TX)
Any update on Marcum?
Stephania Bell (4:15 PM)
Hi Steve: All along the Jays indicated they would force Marcum to rest a bit longer, even if the injury wasn't "major." They said 3 weeks and it looks like they're sticking by it - and that assumes Marcum has no setbacks. He did start a throwing program and so far so good. He's still projected back after the All-Star game at this point.
Hi Stephania, my fellow San Franciscan, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! There were a couple updates on Wainwright and Marcum this wk, could you gives us an update on your interpretation and estimated timing for their returns. Thanks!
Stephania Bell (4:18 PM)
Hi Greg - fellow SFer: Addressed Marcum in the last one. Wainwright's good news is that he's out of the splint, meaning they feel the healing is sufficient to allow him to move the finger. The key issue initially is getting enough range of motion to be able to get his fingers around the ball. Then he will have to be able to grip with enough strength. Sounds like they hope he can start throwing next week, but you can expect that to be toss, just to be sure he can hold and release without a ton of effort. To get him back to throwing shape will take some more time. I think it will be more like the 3rd week of July, assuming all goes well.
I am sure most of us men cringed when hearing of Chris Snyder's injury. Is this something that will linger on or have lasting effects for the year?
Stephania Bell (4:21 PM)
Hi Rodney: I think anyone would cringe when hearing about this one. It's an odd injury, a fractured testivle, and usually happens as the result of blunt trauma, or sports (esp baseball - and you can see why). Basically there is a fibrous lining around the testicle and the trauma can damage it - this is the "fracture". The good news is that it does not appear that Snyder will need surgery, which is often required. But the swelling, etc will have to go down. Once he's over the pain, etc then I think this is a one and done injury, but you can bet there will be some extra protection there to make sure he doesn't get nailed twice.
Help me Starphania, you are my only hope! Whats the deal with Braun's hand? Thanks and keep up the great work!
Stephania Bell (4:25 PM)
Hi Doug (and Garrett and Seth and Ryan and Brad): It's an odd thing. Sounds like Bruan's hand has been bothering him for a few weeks (maybe contributing to his slump) and the pain is between his thumb and index finger. He says he thinks he strained a ligament but there has been no further detail as to a "diagnosis" and there may not be anything specific. You do have some ligaments deep in that area that control thumb stability, and apparently it was so painful recently that Braun could not hold onto the bat. I think at this point the Brewers are hoping that some intermittent rest will be enough (without a DL stint) and maybe try to use the All-Star break as well. But if it continues to be this sore, they may have to make a move for more extended time off.
Tim (Windy City)
Steph, please give an update on Soriano and the hand injury. When should he be back? Before aor after Allstar game. Speculation is that he is going to play in the Allstar game. Would he return to the Cubs bfore then. if not, wonder if Lou will let him play.
Stephania Bell (4:28 PM)
Hi Tim: It's still a day to day evaluation with him. He has been healing quicker than expected and has made it known that he would like to play in the All-Star game. Piniella has said he's fine with that IF he's really fully better. So, he will start taking the steps to see. Beginning with this weekend, he may take BP if he looks to have enough range and strength to confidently grip the bat. Then each day they'll monitor his progress. I don't think he'll be back before, but I do think there's a decent chance he plays in the All-Star game.
Sprain. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another. Common locations for sprains are your ankles and knees. Strain. A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. People commonly call strains "pulled" muscles. Hamstring and back injuries are among the most common strains.
Stephania Bell (4:30 PM)
Jon: Well caught - my typo. Braun would have a "sprain" if it is ligament, strain refers to muscle/tendon. Typing as fast as I can (which is not light speed) sometimes leads to erros - thanks for catching.
Whats up with Percival's "new" leg injury. Heard it was differnet than before. Is he toast for the year?
Stephania Bell (4:32 PM)
Ray: Apparently it's in a slightly different location, but overall, still dealing with a hamstring injury on the same side, so not completely unrelated.
Anthony (Ridgewood, NY)
Stephania - I think I'm missing something. I could have sworn I read in a couple of places that Escobar had pain again in his shoulder after his last start and is likely to be done for the year (probably undergoing surgery). Am I imagining things?
Stephania Bell (4:35 PM)
Anthony: Nope - just got the update. Yes, Escobar has had a setback - and here's the thing we were afraid of when it sounded like he was doing so well -and I always have emphasized that each step represents a different hurdle - it's unfortunate b/c he really got pretty far along with the torn labrum, but it is not altogether a surprise b/c these rarely do well non-surgically for pitchers, it's just too critical to what they do. Every so often someone comes along who defies what we think we know medically which is why they always like to give conservative treatment a try. But in this case, there has been a setback. Apparently still awaiting MRI results and I hope to talk with the Angels later today - but Escobar is still hopeful that he's not done for the season. We'll see.
Yechiel (Monroe, ny)
Whats up? Should i be concerned with Hideki Matsui? will he be back after All Star Break?
Stephania Bell (4:39 PM)
Hi Yechiel: You should be concerned b/c the answer with him is not clear. The Yankees put him on the DL in the hopes that the forced rest would quiet the inflammation enough to allow him to return without surgery. Early word is that he's responding well to rest - but of course he will initially feel better with some rest. The bigger question is can he initiate any activity without the inflammation and swelling (that resulted in him having his knee drained twice) cropping back up. He still has not been cleared for baseball activities, and I would at the very least not expect him until after All-Star, but it really is a day to day assessment in his case.
Will (St. Louis)
Any thoughts on if Yankees' Matsui will need surgery?
Stephania Bell (4:40 PM)
Hi Will: Just to follow-up, yes I think he will defninitely go under the knife for a scope like he had on his other leg - but whether it's now or in the off-season can't be determined yet.
When is a realistic time frame for Big Papi. It was 4-6 weeks on June. Mid-July or are we really looking at Aug 1?
Stephania Bell (4:43 PM)
Hi Viper: Well, at least he is in the batting cages facing the soft toss. He is hoping to take batting practice next week according to the Boston Herald.That still puts him likely at a mid-late July return. I think you see him before August, but I also think he'll be a little rusty coming back, so he may not really start to be Big Papi until August.
Will Konerko be able to hit for power when he returns next week or will his injury linger?
Stephania Bell (4:47 PM)
Hi Dave: I think you always have to be cautious about expecting too much when a player first comes back from an oblique injury although so much of it depends on the severity - and without physically seeing each player, it's impossible to really compare. Look at Sheffield who came back strong almost immediately, but guys with more significant abdominal injuries take longer to get their power back, even if the pain has relatively subsided. Konerko apparently felt good after his batting practice sessions Tues and Weds, and the delayed "after" soreness is one of the things we're really looking for. So this is good news. I would say don't expect too much the first week, but then he should continue to improve.
Safe to pick up Andrew Jones? Is he fully recovered?
Stephania Bell (4:50 PM)
Jamal: This one's a bit risky. Remember he wasn't exactly lighting it up when he went out. He's been out now since late May so there is the whole getting back into the swing of the game (no pun intended) to get comfortable again. Now the problem with the knee may very well have been largely responsible for why he was struggling at the plate, so there's that argument, but I still say caution as he appears to be coming back a little sooner than expected and will likely be rusty. I don't think you have to worry about the injury any more, just his performance.
Any chance Juan Pierre can be back sooner rather than later? Thank you.
Stephania Bell (4:53 PM)
Hi Jim (and all those asking about Pierre): Yes, there's always a chance - but based on how most baseball players fare, the MCL sprain (ligament reinforcing the inner aspect of the knee) is problematic, especially when it comes to geting a jump for base stealing (or getting back to base) b/c of the quick lateral motion required, as well as turning corners during normal base running. It's his first DL stint, so that's working in his favor, but the Dodgers have said 4-6 weeks. I certainly don't think it's before 4, may be the full 6.
Marc (Malden, MA)
I start Chipper last week and he doesn't play. I bench him this week and he hits a HR last night. What's the latest?
Stephania Bell (4:56 PM)
Marc: This has to be one of the biggest fantasy owner's dilemmas out there. It really looked like he was headed for the DL with this nagging quad injury, and he said he could only run at 50%. Now this week he says he's 85 % healed. I don't believe it - and it's really just a question of whether the right combination of factors come together to force him out or not. My worry is that he risks a far greater tear, which could end (or at least cripple) his season, but there are people evaluating him on a daily basis - and he is an athlete who seems to be pretty in tune with what his body is telling him. But it will potentially be an up-and-down situation. Looks like he'll keep starting for now, but that thing is lurking around the corner.
Any update on King Felix? When will he start?
Stephania Bell (5:00 PM)
Hi Matt: Well, I wasn't that surprised by the DL move b/c Felix needs to put a lot of force on his landing ankle, and it sounds like it was a bit unstable before he even had the collision at home plate. The good news is that it sounds like the Mariners really want to be sure not to rush him -and why not? They're not exactly in a position to contend right now. So he's eligible to come off 7/8 and I say maybe he gets one start before the Break, but I'd wait to start him on my team until after the Break.
Brian, Vancouver, WA
Byrnes is droppable right? Done for most of the rest of the year with a repeat bilateral injury problem? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (5:01 PM)
Hi Brian: Yes, sounds like he's looking at all options, including surgery, but even without it, with the lingering nature of what he's been dealing with, I would say move on, b/c I think it will take an offseason to help him.
Dave (Colorado Springs, CO)
Pierre follow-up: Even if he takes the full 6 weeks, will he be able to steal bases or is this injury going to limit him the rest of the season?
Stephania Bell (5:02 PM)
Hi Dave: Really depends on how healthy he is when he returns. I believe if he's fully healed when he comes back (and that may mean he misses more time initially), then he should be back base stealing, but if he's still tentative or has minor discomfort, then it will affect his performance. I'd say - if he comes back at 4 weeks, I'm waiting to see how he does before I consider putting him in my lineup.
What about Willy Taveras? Do you see him getting back in the lineup tonight?
Stephania Bell (5:05 PM)
Hi Tad: Still a question mark for tonight. Supposedly he expects to return tonight or tomorrow but remember, he had a bad quad injury before that cost him a lot of time, so I don't see him rushing. I would guess another night off, but it is a guess.
Anthony (Ridgewood, NY)
Stephania - what do you expect is a reasonable date to see Ordonez back in Detroit's lineup?
Stephania Bell (5:07 PM)
Hi ANthony: Well he's optimistic that it will be only the 15-day minimum, but remember he felt like he could hardly move the next morning. I would say bank on 3 weeks, but keep an eye on what his practice activities are b/c when he starts to swing a bat is when we'll get a better idea of what his return date is really looking like.
Stephania Bell (5:08 PM)
OK everone - my time is up - and I gave you an extra 5 b/c I was lost for the first five minutes. But there are other chatters to chat with - so I will be on my way. Happy 4th of July everyone! May your players - and you - stay healthy...See you again next Friday at my usual time (11 am EST).