Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
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stephania bell (1:05 PM)
Greetings from L.A.: How is everyone today?
Jase (Mahopac, NY)
Hi Stephania thanks for taking my question. What is the status of Brett Lawrie's fractured finger? He was giving a 3-6 week timetable and we are close to 3 weeks now, so is his return imminent?
stephania bell (1:08 PM)
Jase: I think we will. It all depends on how well the bone heals after the stress reaction he developed in his scapula but it sounds like they saw evidence of healing even as they were discovering the injury. I don't think we'll see him on a mound before August but I think we will see him back. Actually wrote a piece owhich posted today n Top 10 injuries to watch in the second half and he made the list.
Stephania,Have you heard anything on Edwin Encanarcion? The Jays claim 2-4 wks, EE says he will be back sooner but is that believable? I was thinking more like 4-6 but you would know better than me. What do you think and will he be the same when he gets back? Thanks and thanks for all your great work.
stephania bell (1:10 PM)
RJ: Thank you! Encarnacion also on my list. I think 3-4 weeks is the soonest we see him. Hardest part about muscle strains is there is no way to accurately test how it will respond in a game...until the guy plays in a game. And I mean at the major league level. Something about the adrenaline of the competition and the unpredictability of situational game play that's impossible to replicate. Even if he feels pretty good at a couple weeks, their biggest concern would be having him come back, get re-injured and then be gone for even longer. They will likely be a bit cautious in returning him.
Kendal (my desk)
Is it possible that the Pirates just decide to shut Gerrit Cole down for the season given that it's his second time on the DL this season? Do you think that they will shut him down?
stephania bell (1:14 PM)
Kendal: Nope, don't think they are going to shut him down. The level of concern on the team's part from the severity of injury standpoint is low. The major concern is how to help him adapt to pitching the workload of a major leaguer without compromising himself with repeated smaller issues that then turn into something major. Part of the move to the DL this time (I believe) is proactive in helping to accomplish that. Expect him back, probably by the end of the month or early next month, hopefully in a better spot than he was between these 2 DL stints.
Jeff (Taking A Day Off)
How bad of a sign was this latest Cliff Lee outing?
stephania bell (1:19 PM)
Jeff: Hope you're enjoying the day off! Depends on your perspective. How bad a sign for fantasy owners who want to know what to expect? Well, not great, at least immediately, in the sense that he will probably take a few outings to look more like the guy you expect to see. As far as his health? Not bad. He hasn't reported any setbacks, seems to be progressing in terms of workload without any complications, just needs to improve upon the results. There's always a bit of concern that a ligament injury is not far behind a flexor tendon problem. Hence, all the more reason to ensure the flexor tendon problem has truly resolved before pushing a pitcher back. The team has certainly taken time with Lee and despite the apparent desire to move him, I don't think they would force him back (nor would he participate) if he was truly still suffering with the injury. So I think he's rusty, not sure it will be great first few outings back but it appears, at least for now, that healthwise he's doing as expected.
Richard (White Plains, NY)
Will we see Michael Wacha pitch again this season?
stephania bell (1:23 PM)
Richard: I actually posted the answer to your question at the beginning, but in response to Jase. SOmetimes when I'm working remotely my little mini I-pad is a step slow and that happens. So, my apologies to you and Jase. But the Wacha answer is there. Jase, will re-post yours in a second here...
Jase (Mahopac, NY)
Stephania, I believe you answered someone else's question in your response to mine. I inquired about Brett Lawrie's fractured finger and if his return is imminent. Thanks!
stephania bell (1:28 PM)
Jase: You are correct! Sorry about that. I don't know about imminent. I think he's still a few weeks away. There's the issue of the fracture healing and then the issue of being able to hit effectively again. Imagine he'll need a rehab assignment of at least a few days and we have yet to hear about baseball activity. Would expect it's another couple weeks at the earliest.
Jeff (Portland, ME)
It wouldn't be a chat with Stephania if we didn't talk Hanley Ramirez. Does he make it through the rest of the season? Do the Dodgers rest him every other day? What can we expect from him rest of the way? Thank you.
stephania bell (1:33 PM)
Jeff: You are so right. I don't know that the Dodgers know, so we definitely don't. The experiment of allowing him to play with intermittent off-days seemed to be working before the break and the break does them another favor. As of now he still seems like a day-to-day guy to me but I think they want to see if he can work himself back to full strength without stepping entirely away. I'd at least plan on the rest every few days for now.
Sounds like V-mart will be back Friday. Any concerns with lingering issues? Will this nag him throughout the season?
stephania bell (1:39 PM)
Keith: Always concerns about lingering issues when it's the low back that's involved. Of course the rest has probably been the best thing for him, even though he's a guy who's inclined not to do so. The only way to test it then is get him back in the lineup. Unfortunately until he hits on several consecutive days we probably won't know how well we can expect him to hold up.
Jeff (Rochester, NY)
Positive signs of life for Evan Gattis?
stephania bell (1:41 PM)
Jeff: Yes, I'm actually somewhat surprised by how well he's been doing. The big tests are still to come. A little bit of batting practice without any problem is a great sign...but you really want to know how he feels the next day and the day after that. Then you want to see how he does after a few days in a row of hitting. For him, hard throwing and repeated throwing is a part of his regular game too. It also involves rotation of his thoracic spine, the area where the injured disc is. So he has a ways to go to be out of the woods. But yes, signs of life.
Any good news on J.Zimmerman's arm strain?
stephania bell (1:45 PM)
David: Have to wait until Thursday to find out if the news is good or not. He was diagnosed with a biceps strain and is going to try to throw Thursday and see how the arm responds. If it goes well, he could rejoin the rotation next week. If not, then he's likely headed to the DL.
Bill (Pittsburgh, PA)
T.Walker has teased us a bit this year. Does he come up to the Bigs and stay? Is he healthy?
stephania bell (1:46 PM)
Bill: Yes. They just wanted to keep him pitching during the break. He's (supposed to be) back after the ASB.
Thanks for the chat. Do you have updates on Andrew Cashner or Josh Beckett? Thank you.
stephania bell (1:49 PM)
Chris: You're welcome. Cashner's issues have been so vague, which is part of what makes them worrisome. He's only just begun playing catch so he has a ways to go before he'd even be close to considering a return. And with the Padres doing how they're doing, well...As far as Beckett, they're calling it a hip impingement. Doesn't sound serious but no one wants it to become something that throws him off enough to threaten his shoulder. Doubt he misses much time since he's already throwing. If there are no issues, maybe he's back next week.
Stephania, which of these DL guys stand the best chance of helping my team, deep 5x5: need 2: Cashner, B. Lawrie, Bonnifacio, or Ecab? Thanks!
stephania bell (1:51 PM)
Scooter: Since you need two, the choice is pretty easy for me. Lawrie and Bonifacio. Cashner may be a lost cause for the season. Cabrera has had repeat issues with the hamstrings and you rely on him for speed. Bonifacio and Lawrie are at least on the mend with a good shot of returning before too long.
Roy (Sunny Cali)
Any concerns about CJ Wilson?
stephania bell (1:53 PM)
Roy: The ankle sprain of his is a little more serious than initially thought. I know he's got a projected timetable of 2-4 weeks but I've seen these last a bit longer for pitchers. It seems surprising sometimes how much a little instability in the ankle can throw them off but it usually pushed their return out a bit longer.
Follow up on Cashner. Do you think he pitches again in 2014?
stephania bell (1:54 PM)
Bill: If I had to guess, I'd say no.
Y. Molina (St.Louis)
My fantasy playoffs start in 7-8 weeks. Time to drop Yadi?
stephania bell (1:55 PM)
Yes. Can always pick up again in another 5-6 weeks if progress is ahead of schedule.
Mike (Fantasy Land)
Should we expect Cargo to be over the hand issue at this point and ready to carry us through the championship?
stephania bell (1:55 PM)
How's AJ Pollock's rehab doing? Can he regain his OF spot on return?
stephania bell (1:58 PM)
Shaun: I think so. He is aiming to start a rehab assignment Aug. 1. If he makes that timeline, then he could return in second week of August. These injuries heal well post-surgery; biggest issue for the player is getting rom/strength back and then getting their timing again after being out for a couple months.
Stephania - Hello and how are you? How does Adam Lind go from 6-8 weeks to 2-3 weeks in a span of 24-48 hours? Do you really think it can be 2-3 weeks?
stephania bell (2:01 PM)
Jim: Hello. I'm doing well, thanks for asking. Hope you are too. The timeline gets cut when you go see a specialist like Dr. Bob Andersen who recognizes that for the type of fracture you have, you shouldn't need to be out a month and a half. It presumes that the bone heals properly but if he gets out of the boot and is able to progress through his rehab without a hitch, then yes, it's realistic.
stephania bell (2:03 PM)
Time for me to leave the chat room. Thanks to all of you for coming. Great questions, as usual. Can you believe NFL training camps start later this week? Oh, my there will be a lot to discuss in the coming weeks. Enjoy the All-Star game!