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May 15, 11:27 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Happy Friday Sports Nation!! My oh my - what a busy 24 hours it has been. The injuries never stop - and so here we are with plenty to chat about. Welcome...

Erich (SF)

Hey Stephania! Can we start it off with Josh Johnson leaving with some soreness yesterday? Any indication this thing is bigger than it seems?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Hi Erich: Sure - why not start it off with Johnson. Whenever a pitcher leaves the game b/c he "feels something" in his throwing shoulder, there's always the chance that it's bigger than it seems. But so far the team is downplaying it saying they just didn't want to take any chances and that he is expected to make his next start. Obviously we'll keep an eye on it - but there's no really bad news yet...

Danny (Philly)

Good morning Stephania. What is the latest word on Kevin Youkilis' injury? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Danny: Well, until Tuesday he had been inproving. In fact I wrote my blog that morning saying I expected he might be in the lineup that night. Then he aggravated it during BP and I found myself re-writing that he was going on the DL. Since he'd already been out they could backdate it a week. The Red Sox seem to suggest that he'll be back when eligible and that it's not that serious but with these oblique injuries, it's no guarantee until they're actually out there. I'm still pretty optimistic he's back next week.

Matt (Boston)

Hi Stephania, I'm pretty sure Lackey is back to 100%, but I'm still worried about starting him against Texas on Saturday. Do you think he is good to go and can be effective against a strong Texas team in a hitter's park?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Matt: I don't blame you. I'm a little concerned too. I will say this. His rehab starts have been solid and he is showing good stuff. The only issue is upping his pitch count - they'd like to get him to the nineties at least on Saturday. If you tkae his rehab starts as an indicator, he looks very good. My bigger concern is whether he can really endure the remainder of the season.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Chien-Ming Wang is set to make his final rehab start tomorrow, how do you think he'll come back and respond this time?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Sprung: I think he comes back much better. He definitely had some physical issues to work out and the additional rehab and hip strengthening has apparently paid off. There's no doubt that the time away helped his mental state too - and with the two together, I think he should come back much better than when he left.

Joe (StL)

How about some post-injury talk....Ervin Santana had an up-and-down start yesterday, probably shaking off some rust. Do you think he's back to 100%, or is he still an injury risk to blow that elbow out again?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Joe: I thought he looked pretty darn good for the first outing - a few wild pitches, and definitely still working his endurance back. I was most impressed by his slider b/c that is one that puts the most strain on the elbow. He's still a risk as far as I'm concerned. Just knowing that he had a partial tear of that ligament (and there's no way to know how well it actually healed vs how well he's performing on a partial ligament. He could last the rest of the season - or it could fail. No way to predict - but if you like the reward vs risk then he's a good choice.

Dave (Boston)

Update on Carpentar? Do you expect him to outproduce SP like Scherzer, Slowey, and Baker when he returns?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Dave: Yes I do. I think he pciks up right where he left off. The good news is that eh threw a bullpen Tuesday that made everyone happy. He's not feeling any pain any more. They expect him to throw a side session today but as of now he is on track to return 5/23.

mendel (fl)

whats the news on delgado? I just traded for him and now it looks as hell be out for the season!

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Mendel: Now it's not quite that bad...yet. Delgado obviously has something in his hip. We're hearing an impingement (non-specific, just means something is pinching) but that he also has a spur. That's not going away during the season, but keep in mind it didn't just crop up either. Once the joint is irritated and inflamed, that's when the problems happen - which is why I think he'll end up on the DL to force some extended rest and let it quiet down a little more. Cortisone helped once before (meaning it took care of some inflammation). The problem is in the bigger picture for the rest of the season. Even if it does calm down, I suspect it will bother him again before the season is through. Remember it was a problem during spring training too. So if he stays on your roster, you have to keep a close eye on his status and not expect that this just goes away completely.

James NYC

Eric Bedard? Discuss. Should i shop him to not have to deal with the headache of him getting hurt again?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

James: I shopped him from my keeper league this year b/c I felt like he would continue to have soft tissue injuries - and here we are. The Mariners seem to think this will not be a DL situation although he will miss his next start. But last year wasn't going to be a DL situation either. I just don't have great confidence - even if he presses through this episode without a DL trip - that something else doesn't come along.

Miguel (East Coast)

Hey Stephania, do you think Soria is a good buy-low right now, or is the injury serious?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Miguel: I think he's a good buy-low, knowing that whenever a pitcher has a little something-something in his rotator cuff, there's at least a little risk. In his case, an MRI was clean, they're calling it a mild tendinitis, and he had post-pitching symptoms, not pain with pitchign or pain at rest which I would call more serious. The rest should help and he's been amazing.

Frankie (Texas)

What's the story with Frank Francisco? Is he going on the DL? Any idea when he pitches again?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Frankie: They haven't ruled out a DL trip He played 10 minutes of catch Thursday and supposedly feels some better, but it's still iffy. I don't like biceps tendinitis in a pitcher. The biceps undergoes such severe strain at both extremes (when arm is cocked before throwing and to decelerate the arm after ball release). Inflammation lets you know it's irritated and the hope is simply that it calms down enough to let him get back to pitching. But given what he does, it's easy to aggravate it again. So it makes me a bit nervous...

James (NYC)

Valverde is on waivers in my league. Should I pick him up now? What is his status? Is this a long term issue?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

James: I would stay away. This is a bizarre injury to begin with. He had a lot of fluid in the calf. It was drained, he ahd to rest to guard against infection. Lots of potential for clots or swelling-related problems in the calf musculature. He was originally projected to return sometime in May. That was then extended to June but it was unclear why. Certainly worry that it could recur or act up again.

George (Miami)

Time for my weekly question on Brandon Webb. Anything new on that front?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

George: It's a slow story. He remains out indefinitely. Remember they decided to pull back his schedule after his shoulder acted up the alst time he tried to throw. That rest period is almost over and he could start playing catch this weekend. If that goes well, then he could resume a throwing program, but that means probably another month before he's in game least.

Sammy (City of Angels)

Stephania! Since complaining of back problems, Gil Meche hasn't had a good this a lingering thing or coincidence?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Sammy: Nice observation. The team certainly isn't drawing a connection but it doesn't mean there isn't one. You know his outing before this last one he still had a lot of strikeouts and the team played poorly defensively so you couldn't hang it all on him. This outing was wprse. Makes me want to watch from a distance for a bit to see what transpires.

Douglas (Pittsburgh)

Jose Reyes sat out with a calf injury last night. Not goos news for a guy who relies on his speed to make things happen? Just a little bump, no long term issues here?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Douglas: Sounds minor. It stiffened up on the cross-country flight. Not clear yet whether he's in today's lineup but so far, does not sound too menacing.

Mike (DC)

Any word on Adam Jones' hammy? I need to set my lineup for this weekend. Will he play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Mike: Now ord yet. I am a little concerned b/c this is the same hamstring that gave him trouble a month ago and caused him to miss a couple games. Same leg just a few weeks later tells me it's hanging around just below the surface and that he may be headed for a more significant injury if he doesn't rest it enough this time around.

Sean (Milwaukee, WI)

Will Aramis Ramirez be ok when he comes back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Sean: Too early to tell. he has had prior problems with stability in this shoulder. If he struggles when he returns he may ultimately need surgery. RIght now that is not the plan but given that it's been a bit of a problem in the past, it could lengthen the rehab time. They're saying at least a month -I'd plan on six toeight weeks.

Putz is a Clutz

but is his injury serious? A bone spur sounds bad, but no one seemed to think so.

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

A bone spur in the elbow tells me there is likely some instability there - which we don't like. Spurs are formed b/c the bone is being placed under stress - and it lays down more bone as a response. The MRI showed some inflammation (for which he received an injection) along with the spur. In the short-term it sounds like they expect that after a few days rest he'll be able to throw. In the longer term, I'm not thrilled about the notion that it's there.

Alex (T-dot)

How is Encarnacion doing? Will he be back soon hitting like we all expect him too?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Alex: WIsh I could give you more but it's very quiet. He's out of a cast but it's still weeks before a return - and until he's swinging a bat it's hard to determine just how impacted his swing will be from the wrist injury.

Keith (IOWA)

What is going on with Derrek Lee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Keith: This bulging disc in his neck is not going to disappear. They managed to keep him off the DL but then he didn't look so good Weds, did not play yesterday (and don't know if it was proactive or reactive). I think he's going to be a question mark for a while.

Dave (Landenberg, PA)

Hi Stephania! Been waiting since Wed. to ask...Anything bigger than lingering flu effects re: Votto's dizziness? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Hi Dave: Thanks for waiting! Well, reportedly all the tests they did on him came back negative. It's possible he was deconditioned a bit, dehydrated after the flu and it manifested as that. He believes he'll be back in the lineup tonight and I supect that he will be as well.

Jason (Scarsdale NY)

sorry I am happens! but what's the latest on Duchscherer? ETA, thoughts on the balance of the year expectations?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Jason: It's too early to have any reasonable expectations b/c he simply hasn't done anything much yet. He's been rehabbing since the elbow scope - but is sceduled to throw from a mound 5/22. This will be a good test. He would have to then get through a throwing progression and get in some minor league games to get his endurance up before coming back, so you're looking at mid to late June, presuming no setback. I'd like to be optimistic, but I still don't like the fact that he had to go to surgery on the first place - in other words, I think he's better, not perfect (remember what happened with Chris Carpenter...bone spur surgery, then TJ...) Not saying it's exactly the same, but it does give cause for ooncern...

Isaac (WI)

Uh oh... Tulo's quad. Is this concerning to you?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Isaac: Definitely don't like that it was the same quad as last year, but ironically he got a little more rest when he got hit in the elbow. He had tingling in his fingers that kept him out for a couple days - but he says that's gone now and he feels fine - so expect him back tonight.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Sorry - have to run!! Check out our Fantasy Focus for other updates and I'll post a blog Tuesday. Have a great weekend!!!