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June 30, 2:09 PM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to the injury chat - where we talk everything injuries. I know you all bring your great questions every week so we'll get right to them!

Steve (Buffalo)

Stephania, How soon can we expect King Felix to resume a regular turn in the rotation? Do you think the injury will have any long term effects?

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Hi Steve: Well, an exact timetable is hard to predict given that we have heard nothing from the Mariners other than "left ankle sprain." You may recall that Felix said he would definitely make his next start (which sounded unlikely given the pain he was in, and if you saw the video, the blow he took to the ankle). Now the Mariners are at least saying that it does not look like he will start Sunday (maybe Bedard in his place), but they are saying nothing more. The long-term effects depends on the severity of the sprain and if it fully heals before he returns. So we just have to wait and watch for now.

Colin (Beverly, MA)

Hello Stephania. Love your input and look forward to your chats every week. That being said, any info you have on my two studs Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton would be greatly appreciated. Do I have anything to worry about here? Thanks so much!

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Hi Colin: How nice to start off a Friday with such a compliment - thank you. Now your guys: Braun is apparently dealing with a sore right hand, non-specified other than that is is the "meaty part of his hand between his thumb and forefinger". If it is deep in there it could be one of the main ligaments that supports the thumb. Braun himself said it felt like he irritated a ligament with a bat swing a while back. He is not expected to miss time but is getting treatment, and it may be the reason for a recent slump - hopefully he will emerge from it soon since the injury appears minor.

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Did not forget about Hamilton but posting separately. Hamilton was hit by a pitch but the X-rays are negative. He is day to day and has not been ruled out for tonight's game against Philly so if you have a daily lineup and can wait a bit, we may get that news this afternoon. Just sore - don't expect it to be long-term.

Chaz (Pleasantville, NY)

Hey Starphania what do you expect out of kelvim this year, in terms of how deep into starts he can go, and how close to last year's kelvim he can be? thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Hi Chaz: I see you are listening to the podcast and have adopted the nickname - more ammunition for my co-workers...As far as Kelvim, I am excited about how well he's doing but am still not ready to go as far as depth into starts. He has a ways to go, pitching through rehab assignments to prove that he is really ready to handle the workload of rejoining the rotation. That being said, if/when he does return, I expect they will not have him go deep for the first few starts just to ensure that the shoulder is indeed ready. He has a labral tear and they do not heal indpendently, he is essentially working with it so the key is not increasing inflammation, etc. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer but especially with his condition, I'm surprised he's even doing what he's doing - making anything beyond hard to predict with accuracy.

Max (Ankeny, IA)

Starphania!!! Please give me some good news on Chipper...

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

OK Max: Here's the good news. Looks like he hopes to DH tonight vs Toronto. The quad is not fully healed, it can't be. But he's tough and seems to be willing to work with it to the extent that he can. It's a delicate balance, but so far he's been able to miss a minimum of games and keep his bat hot. He may be back playing defense next week.

Jon (hartford, ct)

Hi Stephania, I think your contributions to espn are outstanding! Is there any way someone could partially tear a labrum while watching TV? My wife wants me to mow the lawn this weekend and I need a good excuse not to.

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Jon: Thank you! It's pretty hard to tear your labrum watching TV, but if oyu at least get the mower out, begin to push it, and then scream in pain, you can say that the mower yanked your arm and dragged you, resulting in a definite labral tear - you can't possibly continue with mowing the remainder of the lawn. Hope it helps get you a pass.

Bobby (Mobile, AL)

What do you expect from Carmona? How serious is the Bedard injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Hi Bobby: Well Carmona as you know had a setback so they held up his program for a while, but it appears that he is not experiencing pain so they will restart his rehab program. Still a bit early in the process to get too excited. Bedard may actually start in place of Hernandez this weekend so the back does not appear too serious.. Early in the season when his hip was bothering him I suspected his back could be a contributing factor (although it's always hard to say when you're observing from a distance). Now his back has been givign him some trouble - I still think there's a connection, but so far it doesn't look like it will limit him in the immediate sense - still concerns me that he will be up and down for the rest of the season.

John (WV)

How serious is Snell's injury? Will it just be 2 weeks? Any speculation that this could have led to his sub-par season so far?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Hi John: The word is that Snell has medial epicondylitis, also known sometimes as "golfer's elbow" and it is inflammation of the flexor group of the forearm (critical for a pitcher) near the proximal attachment at the inside of the elbow. The good news is that it does not appear to be the UCL (the Tommy John ligament). Although he had started some tossing, it seems the Pirates thought better of it and wanted him to get a bit more rest before throwing side sessions. This is always a wise move when one of your guys has medial elbow pain. It may have contributed to his performance so far since it sounds as if it has been bothering him for a while, even before it became enough to sideline him.

Chris (Alabama)

What's the word on Wainwright's injury? Are the Cardinals still projecting him to be out 45 days? Due to the nature of the injury, would that require a rehab start or two before returning to the Cardinals? Can we expect his performance to decline when he comes back due to the injury and him being rusty?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Hi Chris (and Steve, John, Jim and Nora): Lots of folks interested in him - and I agree, there's not much new. The 45 day projection still holds and I think since he is in a preiod where the tissue is still healing, his activity has not really changed (as in there is none), so there's not much to report. Yes, Chris, I'm fairly certain he will need a rehab start after the extended timeaway - and because of the concerns that you mention. It's a delicate balance between immobilizing him enough to heal, and not developing too much scar that would affect his grip on the ball. For a pitcher it is so sensitive, that any imbalance could potentially throw off his command, so they will want to ensure that he is really ready before putting him back out there. It's the particular location of this injury on his finger that makes it more worrisome.

bobby digital (stephania fan club, ARGENTINA)

when can we expect victor martinez to return and what can we expect from him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Hi Bobby digital - and Seth(thank you Seth): Martinex had a surgery in early June to remove losse bodies with a 6-8 week projection for missed time. That has not changed as of right now. the key is getting all of his motion back (which was a big problem for him before) and should be resolved after the procedure. Then he has to get his strength to swing the bat and throw. Timeframe seems right, always the caveat if there are no setbacks.


So the word out of Dodgerland is that Furcal went through an "extensive" workout and might return before the break. Everyone is talking about his "running" being the big test. It seems to me that with a lower back injury, fielding ground balls would place more stress on the back than any running could do. But, what do I know. Do you have any information about his recovery? Is this injury a strained muscle, scar tissue acting up, or a hernated disc? With this amount of time lost already, one would assume that we are dealing with a herniated disc. Are we getting the truth or is this a smokescreen? I think Furcal's value takes a even more serious hit if this is a disc issue. Do you have any insider info? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Hi David -and all others asking about Furcal: You are asking all the great questions. We are a little in the dark here because the Dodgers simply have not provided an exact diagnosis. Sometimes there isn't one - and that could be the case here. In other words, we see a pattern clinically (symptoms "behave like" a disc), but there is no definitive proof that that is the structure at fault. Also, you can get some similar symptoms from minor disc problems, facet (small joint in the spine) injuries, etc. A muscle strain alone would not likely have hindered him for this long. I believe his spasms/stiffness in his back are a result of the underlying problem, whatever that may be. I understand that he has been doing some fielding in addition to the running, and the running has included rapid stop/starts, zigzags and cutting, all of which would stress his back more than straight running. And yes, his value is compromised I believe by the lingering nature of this injury. In other words, he may come back and play great, like his old self, but the spectre of the injury remains until he proves that he is truly past it for the season.

Alex (Gloversville,NY)

I just acquired Rich Harden via trade. With his history of injury, is he at a high risk of a reoccurence this season? Trying to decide whether i should sell high. Thanks for your time, enjoy your work.

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Hi Alex: Given his history, you cannot deny that Harden is an injury risk. That being said, I believe that the team approached his rehab differently during the last offseason. Some adjustments weremade that I believe gave him a better chance to be successful long-term. He had a minor setback earlier in the year, but it was not as concerning to me b/c of the location of that muscular issue. He has obviously been amazing this year - and I think he's worth the risk..

Peter, DC

Any lingering thoughts on if Dice-BB is still experiencing an injury? I know the Sox say he was fine in his last outing when he got rocked, but what do YOU think?? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Hi Peter - That was pretty clever (the Dice-BB): Any time you see that performance from someone like him you have to wonder if the injury is really past him, but I actually think it was a performance issue primarily. He denied any soreness or even fatigue (which could have been suspicious), and he had been faring well in his rehab starts. I think it may have been simply a bad outing, and he is expected to make his next start - but I will be looking for any velocity issues in addition to command, which would imply some lingering problem. BTW, Boston's medical staff is amongst the best, and generally conservative, so I trust their judgment with him.

Jenny (Philly)

Stephania, please talk to me about Matsui. The notes say he is being looked at this morning and may play this afternoon or may do on the DL depending on the prognosis. Have you heard what his problem is? Have you heard any news from the Yankees on his status for today? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Hi Jenny: All we know is what we heard before - that he had inflammation in his knee. The fluid was drained last week but apparently the soreness is persisting. Whenever you hvae fluid in your knee, something inside the joint is creating an irritation that causes that fluid to be produced. Matsui had an arthroscopic surgery during the offseason on his other knee - but both knees have given him trouble from time to time. I suspect this one may be up next - but they will try to get him through the year, which may require more downtime, i.e. DL, now. Unfortunately I don't have anything beyond that now related to his status for today - he would DH at best, but I think he might sit given how much it has been bothering him.

Jon (San Diego)

Good morning Stephania! Always nice to have you here on Fridays. Alphonso Soriano is targeting the All Star Break for his return. Sound about right to you, and should we fear a power outage due to the injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Hi Jon (and Larry, Mark, Craig and Brad): In the medical world, we all love patients who can't wait to get back to work. So we love Soriano's enthusiasm. That being said, he did break a bone (4th metacarpal in his hamd - bone connecting finger to wrist). No matter how much he wants to rush it, the bone has to be sufficiently healed for the team to clear him to resume baseball activity. Movement, torsional forces and potentially the chance of being hit again pose a threat if the bone is not fully healed. We typically say six weeks for a fracture to fully heal, but smaller fractures in the hand can be well-helaed sooner than that. Then he has to get all of his range of motion and strength back to be able to grip/swing with any koind of effectiveness. He is getting more x-rays to day, and if the healing has really progressed, I think it is possible he comes back sooner - maybe by All-Star, but we will really know more after today. This is not one that he can rush. And yes, I do think if he comes back quickly, when he first appears he may take a bit to get the power back, but it should resurge fairly quickly when he gets back in the swing -literally.

Greg (SF)

Hi Stephania, question about marcum. Do you think 7/14 is a fair time to expect him back given his injury and diagnosis by Dr Andrews? Is there any concern give that it is the Blue Jays, and they don't always disclose the truth about injuries? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Hi Greg - my SF neighbor: I think this is areasonable start at a time frame, given that Andrews ok'd a return to throwing program to begin this Saturday. So his total time off is expected to be about 3 weeks - and given that he has a "strain", that is reasonable. Remember this is a guy who wanted to keep pitching, so a short period of rest may be sufficient. I agree, we don't always hear the full disclosure from Toronto, but I think in this case the information is reliable.

K.C. (New Jersey)

Stephania, can we conclude that Damon's arch is ok, prior to the rain out he had doubled and then stole third, sliding in hard.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Hi KC: I think we can say OK for now. These arch problems can be nagging in how they behave, so if minor it can crop up once then disappear, or it can easily be aggravated with a misstep. I would assume minor for now, especially given his performance, but don't be surprised if we hear about it again later.

Dave (Bath, ME)

Hi Stephania! (I spelled your name correct unlike Max) What's the word with Big Papi and what do you expect he will do when he returns?

Stephania Bell
  (12:06 PM)

Hi Dave - (and Brad, Schimri, Joe, Mike): I love Big Papi -have him on my teams and miss his presence so am always tracking what he's doing. He is taking swings off a tee, but they control his speed to protect his wrist - so it is not exactly close to full bat swing. He has to progress through the vigor of his swing, then face live BP, and he expects to go through a rehab assignment. I think at this point we are looking at later July - and knowing big Papi, especially how this year started, he wants to have his full stroke back before returning to the lineup. I expect when he comes back he will be swinging the bat well, even if it means it takes a little longer to se ehim in the lineup.


Star(in the spirit of Max)--are you fielding football questions? I drafted Javon Walker as a late round flyer. But, I'm not sure I know or understand his injuries from the Vegas incident. Are we just talking about facial lacerations? Or, was there a serious concussion involved? Do you know the extent of his injuries? Just from a cold-hearted fantasy diagnosis, a serious concussion might affect him more from this point forward in terms of production. I wish the guy well and feel kinda guilty asking that question. But, I really haven't heard a clear concise report on his injuries. Do you know anything about this? Thanks once again and have a great weekend!

Stephania Bell
  (12:09 PM)

Hi David: We'll end on afootball note. I have heard concussion and facial injuries - but the reports have been vague -and I am not certain that these are definitive. The team says they expect a full recovery by training camp but do not want to elaborate on his injuries. We always are concerned about any long-term effects of concussion, and it becomes a big issue in football b/c we see so many. I think we maynot really know more until we see how he performs in training camp, especially since there is an investigation ongoing in this case. But as soon as we know, we'll share.

Stephania Bell
  (12:10 PM)

Have a great weekend everyone -and thank you once again for bringing your excellent questions!! Stay healthy - see you next week!