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April 21, 12:04 PM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Hi gang: Apologies for the late arrival. I am away from the office and I have no power supply! So this chat may end sooner than expected - please bear with me. Let's get to as many as we can...

Chris, Boston

Is it worth holding onto Carpenter?

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Hi Chris: I think so - but be prepared to wait. Avg is 6 weeks for an oblique, but with his arm history they will want him to be 110% before they turn him loose - so think more like 8 weeks...

Jeremy (Ma)

Hi Steph I have Dice K can you give some insight on "Dead Arm".Is it something some time off will take care of or is it like an oblique issue where it will flare up time to time??

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Jeremy: I think it will be fine with rest. Think of it as a minor strain to the rotator cuff musculature, and treatment will be rest followed by a return to throwing. He's been cleared to do light throwing so will begin with 60' toss this week.

Chris (Boston)

WFAN in NY is reporing that Nady is not done - it is just an elbow strain and he may be back in late May or early June. Can you comment on this? Is he worth holding onto in an AL-only league?

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Chris: I have not heard the latest (and I was just listening to them) - but he was having multiple tests. CT and other bone imaging studies -which to me told me they were trying to rule out a stress fracture. A fracture would actually be less time than a re-tear of the ligament. Sometimes the trouble with a repaired elbow is that the imaging is hard to read b/c there is scar tissue - and nothing really looks normal. Of course if there is any way to avoid a second TJ surgery they willo, so oif tests are inconclusive, they may have him try to rest, rehab and see how far he can get.

John (NYC)

Stephania, do you think Wang is still injured or hampered by his injury, or that it is causing a change in delivery or arm strength?

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Hi John: I'm convinced that the injury has impacted him - if nothing else in keeping him away from the mound for so long that he still hasn't found his rhythm. Also, he could be stiffer post-surgery, even a little in the ankle and it could affect how his weight shifts over his foot and ultimately his delivery. Heard Steve Phillips today on WFAN and he also thinks there is something to it and plans to look at film and discuss on BBTN tomorrow. SO check it out - I plan on it.

DJ (Queens, NY)

Good afternoon Stephania! Enjoyed your insights on the podcast earlier. Anyway, what is your take on Ryan Doumit and his right wrist? I know he never had any previous injury there, but will this linger throughout the season and hinder his hitting? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

DJ: Thanks! Haven't heard the final word on Doumit yet - I know they had not seen any fracture on X-ray but were doing follow-up tests today - concerns about a ligament injury. The big concern is ultimately instability in the wrist - b/c if that happens it can severely hamper a swing. Soooo many ligaments in the wrist and with eight small bones, it really depends where the injury is specifically. Need to wait a bit more to see how severe this will be.

Rob (State College)

Hey Stephania - SO glad to have you doing your injury chats!! What do I make of McCann's eye issue? Do I need to find a replacement now and hold onto McCann, even if he's not on the DL? Thanks as always!

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Rob -Thank YOU for ocming. I'm worried whenever a player complains of blurry vision. Sounds like he's not sure if it's a new issue or related to a Lasik procedure he had done before. He was headed to a specialist today -have not heard the outcome yet, but I would just plan on acquiring insurance, it may take a while to resolve.

Joe (NY)

Hey! I keep hearing random rumors that Papelbon might be headed for the DL - are these just rumors?

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Joe - so far just a rumor, nothing official...

matt (dc)

stephen drew: what chances are of there of a re-tweak of the hammy injury currently sidelining him? i dont like these type of injuries.

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Me either Matt: HS injuries always have the possibility of lingering. That being said, when a team rests a guy early it is usually to try to help avoid it becoming a mroe serious injury - so I would put the concern level at minor right now.

Erich (SF)

How much can I reasonably hope for out of Jed Lowrie the rest of '09?

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Erich: With surgery keeping him out a couple of months, then there are the issues of regaining the stroke, which depending on the player takes a variable amount of time to regain. I would say make other plans, then keep an eye on him when he approaches rehab starts to see about picking him up for late in the year.

lugo(boston, MA)

what do you expect from me when I come back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

I think Lugo (I mean you) will be fine b/c you've had a nice progression back from your meniscal surgery. Boston is smart enough not to rush you just b/c Lowrie is out. Take your time in rehab starts.

Sean (Brooklyn)

Stephania, is there any player, currently on the DL, out there that most people have forgotten about? Not Escobar, but someone else who could have an impact later in 09?

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Sean: Maybe Isringhausen - pitched a few minor league innings, could be back in a few weeks...

Sam (Tucson)

Stephania whats the word on Joe Mauer?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Sam: Playing in minor league games (I think they expect him to play in 6) and the team thinks he could be back by 5/1. Now keep in mind, his type of injury, if it's going to flare, will flare as a result of cumulative stress, so I really want to see how he does when he has to play day after day repeatedly for a while - but I have to admit that so far, so good.

Brian Secaucus, NJ

Will BJ Upton play tonight?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Supposed to...

Wes (Dallas, Tx)

Stephania, can I get an update on Webb? What do you expect from him when he comes off the DL?

Stephania Bell
  (3:34 PM)

Throwing a bullpen today - if goes well, will throw another, then maybe a simulated game. I was never especially worried about him. If it's a smooth rehab back, then I like him going forward.

Jordan (OH)

How likely is Hoffman's oblique injury to either persist or become re-aggravated throughout the season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Jordan: If it's really fully healed, then the hope is that it doesn't recur. You certainly worry about that with these type of injuries - which is why they've brought him back slowly. Remember initiakky they though he'd start Week One. They slowed down the pace as part of an effort to try to be cautious. If he does well in Triple A start this week, then I think he'll be good going forward (of course his age adds a little risk, but he's still overall a very durable guy).

Chris (Little Rock)

Is it safe to assume Berkman's biceps tendonitis is healed now, since he hasn't missed any time? How to evaluate that?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Chris: Without being there, hard to truly evaluate if there is still some minor element present. But I would say that the fact that he has been able to do everything is enough to convince me that it's not enough for me to worry about at this point.

Joe (Boston)

Stephania, what are your thoughts on John Smoltz? Do you see him coming back strong in late May-early June?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Joe: I think he will impress everyone and come back very strong - likely early June. He has looked good every step of the way and can still deliver.

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Guys - I am sooooo sorry - my battery power is dying and I will be cut off very shortly. Posting a blog later tonight so hopefully can answer some more of your questions there - Sorry again - and thanks for coming - I will do better next week when I'm plugged in!!! Promise.

Mojorat (Pensacola, Fl)

Adam Jones (Balt) hammy - any real concerns about it?

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

Not really - should play today.

Moe

Anything new on Hamels? My season depends on him.

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

I think he'll be fine - elbow issue is minor.

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

I think he'll be fine - elbow issue is minor.

Marc (NJ)

Do you think Ryan Braun's slow start this year is due to the injury he has to his side? If so, how long until he either gets better or goes to the DL?

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

I think it has to be a factor -but he's pretty silent about it - so I';m not sure we can determine how much - and he won't go on the DL unless he's really incapacitated. Not sure he'll actually get better during the season b/c hitting aggravates it. Bummer.

John (NYC)

Anything new on A-Rod?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

He's doing a little more each day. I want to see him do the defensive work, and slide when base running. Then we'll know he's approaching ready to play.

Andy (Hartford)

You do a great job, Stephania! So Mark Teixeira's couldn't hit a lick. He apparently gets a cortizone shot in his hurt wrist, says it feels 10 times better, and then homers in his next two games. Explain please...

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Thanks Andy - cortisone shot helps the inflammation, less inflammation = less pain = more power = better Teixeira. Now we get to see if it lasts.

Battery Beater

News on Ervin Santana? I need him back next week..

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Love the battery beater - and you made it - barely. So far I still think he's on track - no setbacks yet, but every day is another test - and even so, I still wonder if he will hold up across the season. He COULD, but I;m not high on his chances...

Rob (NJ)

Stephania, how do you get information on injuries, outside of what is published in the press and on team websites?

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

Rob: Really, really good sources....

Jason (Chicago, IL)

You talked about Hanley Ramirez being a possible question mark earlier in the year. He's batting third and is starting off slow. Should I try and deal him or just wait it out?

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Patience Jason, patience.. It's just April -he'll be fine.

Bill (East Windsor, NJ)

Do you expect Kuroda be back anytime soon? Will he need much rehab time?

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

These obliques can be tricky and he's been going slower than expected - never a good sign....so right now, there is no fixed time frame but I'd say he's weeks away, not days.

Hardy (Jacksonville, IL)

Any truth to the B. Lidge injury rumblings? I'm concerned.

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Hardy: Not that I'm aware of. Whenever anyone struggles, that is the first thought. But I'm not hearing anything along that line...yet.

Eric (Raleigh, NC)

It seems like a tennis serve is just as violent as a pitching motion, and tennis players play every single day with more reps than a typical starting pitcher. Why don't you ever hear about tennis players having Tommy John surgery or torn rotator cuffs? What makes a pitcher different?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Eric: Great question - too long to answer really completely here. Tennis players do have a lot of rotator cuff strains, but not elbow problems. there's a lot les shappening at their elbows than baseball pitchers. The physics of throwing a baseball have proven to be the most violent motion one can do at the shoulder and the elbow - and a lot has to do with position - the arm is virtually facing the wrong wayand then goes from one extreme to the other. Go to ASMI.org and check out some of their video of slow motion pitching. you'll see.

Ruby (Seattle)

Given his history, how many games can we expect from Chipper this season? Would you still rather roster Chipper over Cantu?

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Ruby: Never like to give a number b/c I'll always be wrong - but I think the pattern continues -he'll be on for 10-20 games, then gone for a few, then repeat. The misses may last a little longer as he has more wear and tear - but he's also tough enough to play through some pain,,,there jsut comes a point...

Mike (Dell)

Where do you get your lappie batteries? I get maybe 10mins after the warning - you are going strong! Unlike my Jimmy Jam Rollins, is he hiding a lingering injury?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Mike - I don't know but I keep thinking if I ignore it, I can eek it out. No word on a Rollins injury either...although you're not the only one asking. Lots of Phillies out of the gate slow...

Chris (Woodbury MN)

Lackey?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Chris: Sounds like they're still saying May - maybe not May1, but they hope May. Like Santana, he's on a throwing progression and these are evaluated every day. They throw and then they wake up and see how they feel. If OK, they repeat. If OK, they up the distance and/or velocity and or challenge the pitches. So each time is like a test..

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

OK - I just got 3 beeps from the laptop - really, really dying. Hope to see you all next week - sorry!!!! Keep the great questions coming...