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June 19, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation - Computer a little slow to get going but here's hoping it warms up as we move along. I see you're here with your questions.Here's my question: Is it ever going to stop raining in the East Coast- - in June????

Stan (MA)

Hey Stephania. Last week you said that Edison Volquez injury concerned you because it could be linked to the TJ ligament. If I could get him for cheap would he be worth picking up in a keeper league or would his potential for injury be too great? Also, who do you like better coming off hip surgery, Delgado or Alex Gordon?

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Hi Stan: Thanks for reading...Actually my concern was that inflammation in his elbow, which appeared to be putting pressure on the ulnar nerve (why he got the tingling) was in the same region as the ligament, but to be clear there's been no official word that there's damage to the ligament itself. Supposedly he's feeling no pain with long-toss, but he's still on flat ground and he's got a ways to go before returning. If you get him for cheap and don't plan on anything until late July, might be worth it - but only for cheap. No guarantees as far as setbacks.And I like Gordon - younger, traumatic injury (not degenerative) better prospect returning

Carly (SD)

Downs worth picking up?

Chris (O-H-I-O)

When does AROD pick it up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Carly - sure. It sounds like it was a minor sprain - it's just that as a pitcher, when it's your push leg that's affected, you can't take chances. Don't think this is a long term issue.

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Back to Chris (Sorry - new chat format and we're still working out some kinks...) -= I said before the season even started that I didn't think we should expect A-Rod like production from A-Rod until after the All-Star break. He's still a little stiff defensively and I think still getting his groove back. Power not a problem but consistency is.

Bill (Phoenix)

Stephania - The highlight of the week is Friday morning with you. What are your thoughts about Xavier Nady playing the outfield. How can he go from season ending surgery to playing the outfield in just 2 short months. Thank you for your help.

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Bill -- You are now the highlight of my week. Nice readers and posters make up for the poor play of my fantasy team and bad weather in Bristol. As far as Nady, I'm not sure what the future holds. He sprained the same elbow he had had prior TJ surgery on - and initially that's why they thought it might require surgery to reconstruct again. But after looking at several images (and it's hard to image well b/c after one of those surgeries, there is a lot of scar that can cloud the picture. So - they decided to try rehab. So far, so good -but keep in mind that it's not a perfect ligament, meaning more risk to ultimately re-injure it - either partially or completely. His progress is encouraging - but buyer beware.

Mike (Indy)

This new chat format has more "kinks" in it than Bedard's shoulder. Thoughts on his injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Mike: Funny - but I might not agree. You know I think Bedard is a big-time injury risk b/c of his multiple soft tissue injuries in his past. The fact that this is his shoulder - which he had surgery on in the offseason - makes me more worried. Even though they're calling it slight inflammation - and maybe it is and they're just being proactive, I don't like it.

Ben (Austin)

Tell us about Webb's setback. He is on my DL sitting next to Peavy. Both are KILLING my staff.

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Ben - Yes, you have some bad luck. I'm telling you the Peavy thing is serious. If you can sell him as a prospect to someone else I would, before they find out that he'll need surgery and be out the rest of the season (not saying that WILL happen, but it could and I would cut bait).Webb is a huge mystery to me. There is absolutely no definitive reason for him to be having this trouble - and with him not getting the contract extension he wanted before the season you have to think he'd be motivated. It's a puzzle apparently for the D-Backs too. No one can explain it and they're prepared to send him for further testing, re-evaluation to decide whether to try to return him at all this season. I was so confident that I was keeping him on my bench - but now it's time to let go.

Vern (Palo Alto)

Steph...go Niners! When can I expect Jose Reyes back. Will he be anything like his old self at any point this year? What about the future?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Vern: Anyone from Palo Alto cheering for Niners is welcome here...The timeframe after the hamstring tear was 4-6 weeks - which may have been a bit optimistic. I like the fact that he had the PRP treatment (platelet rich plasma - what Hines Ward had before the Super Bowl) as there have been some promising results with speeding up the healing of soft tissue injuries, but it still takes time. And don't forget this started with a calf injury so we're really talking two things. The fact that he's a player dependent on speed and bursts makes it more delicate. I would say don't expect anything before late July - and given his time away, I would be surprised if he was his old self off the bat.

Santino (Boston)

Stephania (bella), been a long time. Concerning VOTTO. Where it was a non-physical issue do you see him returning to his normal stats? Grazie

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Santino - Welcome back to the injury chat. You - and Dan (Roselle) are asking about Votto. This is a really tough situation. The apparent ear infection that was difficult to diagnose and has been slow to respond - and may have (probably) contributed to the "stress-related" issues that put him on the DL. He's apparently well enough to begin a rehab assignment but what's unclear is how long he'll need to get back to game shape. May return pre-All Star Break, but it does depend on how he does - and I think part of that is how he feels after traveling - so watch how he does this week in the minors.

Ben (Austin)

You forgot me!!!!!!!!! Webb?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Ben - I actually posted a long answer about Peavy and Webb. We've been having some challenges with the new chat format in that sometimes we can see answers (I can see it on my transcript on my screen) but the Sports Nation audience can't. Please let me know if it's still missing when you scroll through and I'll try to re-post.

Jan (Chicago)

Josh Hamilton...what could lead to a setback at this point? All seems to be going well so far--knock on wood!

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Jan: Only if he tries to come back too soon. THese surgeries are traditionally very successful and I have not seen re-injury of the same type. I;ve only seen guys struggle if they try to push it before healing is complete. So they will have to rein Hamilton in enough to keep him on a realistic timetable -otherwise all is good.

Will (Stl)

Happy Friday Stephania, got a couple pitcher questions for you. All indications are Halladay's groin strain is minor, but I've seen how these in injuries can linger. How much is the groin used in the pitcher's wind-up motion? Also think Frank Francisco is close to a return. You think he's lights out the way he was before the DL stint?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Will: You're absolutely right that they can linger - which is why I think Halladay wisely took the DL stint to begin with. There are a couple clues that this is minor, including the original diagnosis. He changed his description from one of pain to one of tightness, subtle but important. He can throw on flat ground without pain, only uncomfortable on the mound (when the strain increases b/c of the drop-off during delivery). The groin on the push-leg is key b/c there's a lot of torque through tha tleg and on up through the trunk and then right before the weight transfer, some of the abdominal/groin muscles are on significant stretch -so they're definitely involved - and any weakness or pain can significantly impact delivery. As far as Francisco, he's looked really good in rehab outings, but keep in mind that he may not resume the closer role immediately.

Chris (Midville, Iowa)

I love that you guys have a chat devoted just to injuries, and on my team, I need it. Here's something I could really use an answer to: Will Doumit regain his power when he comes back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Chris - Glad you love it - I do too - and that's why we have it! Very tough prediction. Wrist injuries are notorious for resulting in loss of power when a player fist returns. They can have all their range of motion and strength, but it takes a while to translate to their swing. I would say that until we actually see him in a rehab assignment (which is a number of weeks away), it is impossible to predict.

Dave (Buffalo)

What are your thoughts about Brad Ligde's knee. He says it's feeling better, but two cortisone shots this season makes me wonder if he's got a problem that's going to come back to bother him once the shot wears off. Believe what he says, or be skeptical?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Dave: Actually, I would direct you back to my blog archives - only b/c I've talked about it more in depth there than I can here. But he's got chronic problems with that knee - and it becomes a case of trying to manage symptoms, not expecting the knee to be "100%" healthy. Meaning I expect that he can return and be a solid pitcher (maybe not ever the year he had last year) but it will be a case of trying to balance his work with how the knee is feeling.

Jeremy (NJ)

Hi Stephania, I know you discussed Sizemore last week, but I feel that a player of his magnitude needs to be constantly updated. When is he going to start taking some swings? Do you expect him to return to the lineup before July? Do you think this injury will stay with him for the rest of the year? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Yes Jeremy, I agree that he's worthy of discussion. After a follow-up MRI indicated that Sizemore's elbow at least looked better, and he definitely was feeling better (of course he was, he didn't do anything for 10 days), he was cleared to do light throwing and take swings from a tee. He's expected to try to inch his workload up gradually, but the challenge will be how his elbow responds to increased activity. Very possible that increased work could trigger increased inflammation and he requries arthroscopic surgery. Need to keep a close eye on him.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Thoughts on Aramis Ramirez. Any chance he's back right after the AS break or will his rehab take longer? Have you heard any rumors about him being lost for the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

SteveFitz: I think it's unlikely that he's lost for the season and I haven't heard that. That being said, the test for him is about to start as he's expected to begin taking batting practice next week. After a shoulder dislocation, the issue will be whether he has residual instability wihch can really impact a swing. You look at a player like Hanley Ramirez who had instability that really made it hurt on a swing and a miss, and ultimnately he needed surgery. Not saying that will be Ramirez' fate, in fact, one-time dislocations often end up stiff, not necessarily unstable. But until he starts testing it with swinging and more defnesive work, we won't know. He's expected to be back after All-Star Break.

russ (macon, ga)

after kazmir's minor league outing, do you see him being the fantasy stud we once knew?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Russ: Yes - I think not only the quad injury, but the adjustments he made to his mechanics and the increased confidence he has make me think good things are coming from him.

Robert (Gilbert,AZ)

Can Carlos Quentin return to full-form after the break?Also love the drops Pod-Vader plays of you on the podcast!

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Robert: First of all, Pod-Vader and I need to have a chat. No more "greatness of Matthew Berry" drops is I can help it...As far as Quentin - and there are a lot of folks wondering the same thing - I think it's still too early to tell. We went from plantar fasciitis to torn tendon, but the good news is that he's jogging. With this kind of thing we need to see that he can do activity for an extended period of time without it flaring up. He's not coming back until after the All-Star break anyway, so the next few weeks ought to tell us a lot more.

Gabe (New Jersey)

Stephania, By the way this is A. Ramirez's third shoulder disclotation.

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Gabe: My understanding was that his previous episodes were not full dislocations, but subluxations - but I will go back and check it out further. If this was the first true dislocation, it's a better prospect than if it was his third, that's for sure.

Jay (Chicago)

Thank god for you and Fridays....my team has been plagued with either injuries or "mental issues" and I thought I thought struck gold as FA pick up earlier this week with Chris Young finally hitting again, but he came up lame last night....any additional news on the leg injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Jay: Wish I could give you positive news - but really, are there any of us who have a team that has not been injury plagued this season? As far as Young, he's saying he just took a weird step and hopes it's minor, but you know the old story with groin injuries. Always a worry that it turns into something more. I would watch for news from the D-Backs later today. If it's more than a slight strain or tightness it could mean a DL stint.

Eddie (Salt Lake City)

Good Morning Stephania. Was yesterday a sign of things to come for Soto? Are the nagging injuries that have been bothering him all year finally healed? Thanks for the insight!

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Eddie: Well...it may be a little too soon to say he's over his slump. But it certainly is encouraging. Soto has not apparently complained about his shoulder, but I have to assume that it's still been bothering him - and until he can sustain a good run I would be suspicious.

Tyler (VT)

Hi Star Bell! I am riding the Carpenter train right now, and he has been great, but do you see a significant chance for another injury? I have a stacked staff and I am thinking about trading him for another big bat. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Tyler: I suppose you could make the case that he's been an oft-injured guy in the past. But I really like him. I think his arm is finally solid- and should be for the forseeable future. Keep in mind that all his downtime to recover from his elbow actually helped save his shoulder. I wouldn't trade him if I had him.

Roddy (Los Angeles)

Steph, before you go... Asdrubal Cabrera. When will he be back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Roddy: No official word - they expect to indicate that this weekend. The good news is it's his non-throwing arm, and he is swinging the bat. Hopefully another week or ten days.

Kyle (Omaha)

What's the real likelyhood Sizemore gets scoped? The guy was playing through the elbow business for the first two months of the season, so if there was going to be any major damage done, wouldn't it have already happened? It seems like the occasional DH or DL stint is realistically the worst case scenario, since his MRI cleared up that he doesn't have any tears or loose bodies. Stop with the doom and shoot us straight, what do you think his chances of NOT having surgery are?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Kyle: No. Here's the problem. Imaging is never the whole story. Any surgeon will tell you that the imaging is only part of the issue. And no ligament tears and no bony spurs or loose bodies is not the whole picture. He reportedly has synovitis, inflammation of the synovial membrane lining the joint, which is a much more challenging issue - not only in treating it but in figuring out why it's happening in the first place. And sure, he played for two months -but it hurt -and if you keep doing that for an extended period, you can end up with other tissue damage. I'm not into giving percentages, b/c there's no reasonable way to even begin to do that -especially when I don't see the athlete first hand. I can only say that until he really starts to use the arm and test it, there's no way to know whether the problem is actually imrpoving.

Doug (NYC)

Hey Stephania, how 'bout closing with something on the 2-month NL MVP? What's the inside word on Ibanez...15 days or a longer stint?

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Doug: Great Idea. I think it will be longer. No word yet on his MRI - but this thing has been bothering him since the spring, it's just that it's now worse. They're hoping for 15 days but I'm not that confident that that's all it will take.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

OK Sports Nation - Thanks as always for coming every Friday. I'm hoping that my trip to Fenway Sunday will not get rained out!!!!! Hope your fantasy teams can stay healthy - have a great weekend!!!