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April 13, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:03 PM)

Happy Tuesday everyone! Wow - lots of DL updates since we chatted last week. It's funny. I get this question every year - "Are there more injuries this year...b/c it sure seems like it?" I will tell you that I asked some folks who track DL numbers and they really haven't changed in the last few years...but the way WE monitor them (between fans and fantasy players) means we're watching more closely...so it sure feels like it.And with that, we begin...

Steven W (Santa Monica CA)

Ok, so I will probably not be the first to ask, but: outlook for Jimmy Rollins, both on how long he is estimated to be out of the lineup and what to expect on lingering injury when he returns?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Steven: You actually were THE first to ask...which is why you are getting credit with the post. The problem is we don't have any results back from Roillins' MRI and the word is we won't perhaps until this evening.My colleague Buster Olney indicate this morning on Sports Center that he had heard reports of a Grade 2 strain. If accurate, that would suggest a DL stint for sure...and a big question mark as to how long it will take to come back. If you go back to prior seasons, a significant calf injury can be very slow to recover and limits push-off, problematic for running bases, or making explosive defensive plays. As soon as we hear more, I'll be updating my prognosis.

John (Dayton)

Hi Stephania! Do you have any inside information on the status of Eric Bedard and when he might return to the rotation? From what I've heard, he seems to be on the same timetable as Cliff Lee (early May), but things can change quickly in this game.

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

John: The information on Bedard is positive so far. He has looked good in his early bullpen sessions - and there is some speculation he returns in May (He will be behind Lee). I still think June is more likely...and rarely do these guys come all the way back in their throwing program without a setback of some sort. I would look to June, knowing it could be earlier - but only slightly - if all goes well. Remember competitive speed throwing is much much harder to get to.

Jamiroqui (Scotland)

If you only have two DL spots who do you get rid of; Berkman, Kinsler or Webb? Is it worth holding onto Webb for this season? Seems more iffy everyday.

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Jamiroqui: Welcome Scotland! I would eliminate Webb. It's just too uncertain. While Berkman and Kinsler have some hurdles to get over, at least they're on a track with a known injury...

Dave (Rochester, NY)

Hi Stephania. I am considering holding a meeting with my fantasy team about the importance of stretching as I now have three players being bothered hamstring pulls (A. Hill, Cargo and R. Zimmermann). How worried should I be about these guys? I know that pulls can continue to bother players throughout the year. Side note: My wife and I were discussing baby names the other day and I may have gotten Stephania approved for a girl! Thanks for your help.

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Dave: Loved the post - makes the PT in me LOL. While you're lecturing about stretching, how about telling them to ride the bike in the dugout to stay loose...Unfortunately, part of the issue with these hamstring "injuries" is no two are exactly alike. It depends how severe the injury is in the first place (is it more like a cramp or a tightness vs did the athlete feel a tearing sensation)? Also, how many have they had in the past? A Reyes-like injury pattern is a big concern, while a minor first-time tightness doesn't worry me so much.Right now Hill and GOnzalez appear minor, but Hill is on the DL as a precautionary measure.And thanks for the name suggestion...we need more of those...

Marissa (Cincinnati, OH)

Hi Stephania. Can you give me an update on CarGo? I started him this week so I am hoping that his day-to-day status for left hamstring tightness is accurate.

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Marissa: As a follow to the last post...right now day-to-day and they called it "tightness" so hoping for a return soon, but literally the team will test him each day and evaluate...so no way to predict

Jordan (OH)

Hi Stephania...lots of 2b injuries. Concerned with Brian Roberts? early reports were 15 day dl for abdominal strain, now word he had epidural on his back and could be out longer? Do i need to make a move in my keeper league and give up a talented young hitter like a jj hardy or nolan reimold in order to find a stop gap....waivers are thin with Barmes, Callaspo, Mark Ellis and O-Dog available. YUCK!

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Jordan: Yes - this week the theme seems to be injuries at 2B...I am concerned with ROberts, especially since I paid for him in my auction league, knowingly taking a bit of a gamble b/c of the back...but I was hoping for more than a week before he went out.And yes, be concerned. Apparently when he strained the abdominal base stealing, he also aggravated the back (not a huge surprise) and is now on his 2nd epidural of the year. Basically it means his DL stint will extend beyond the 15 days - plan on it. But it may also mean that a little longer out and we still get good production when he returns.

Paul (Williamsburg, VA)

No Montero questions yet? Is his injury serious enough that I should pursue a trade, or can I get by with someone like Snyder or Barajas until Montero's back? Thanks Stephania!

Stephania Bell
  (3:20 PM)

Paul:He's getting a second opinion from Dr. Yocum as it sounds like there's concern that there is more to the story than the meniscus. Meniscus alone means at least 6 weeks as a catcher. If we hear that there's more to the story, then, well, we'll have to see. If meniscus alone, I think you get by fine with Snyder...

Ian (Ohio)

Jayson Werth? I heard day to day but you never know. What his status?

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Ian: Sounds like Werth himself said that he expects to miss a few days yet called the injury no big deal..so unless something changes, a few days.

Todd (Cleveland)

How on earth does Kinsler's high ankle sprain last this long for a baseball player? How much longer am I going to have to wait?

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Todd: Come on, be fair. This is a bad injury. Very hard to run until really healed. And it's not like he stands still defensively at his position either. Kinsler was trying to project optimism saying he hoped to be on rehab assignment last weekend, but as i said in my blog, not likely he'd be ready. And when he tried to run could only go about 50% speed...now he's facing the reality that this is slow. Expect to wait a few weeks.

Eric (ON)

2 Star CFs down on the same day. Ugh. What's the prognosis for Grady and Jacoby?

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Eric: Bummer. Jacoby took a shot from Beltre's knee but is lucky no ribs were broken. That said, it's still painful for him to take a deep breath or lift his arm. Bruised ribs really hurt. He left open the idea he might be back Weds but I would not be surprised if it were a day or three longer.As far as Grady, just have to hope this back tightness is just that...and nothing more serious. If so, then just a day or two.

Ben (Los Angeles)

Hey Stephania, Is Jair Jurrgens healthy? He looked pretty bad yesterday.

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Ben: I know - he hurt my stats too. But no injury as far as I know. Sometimes pitchers just have lousy outings, even when healthy.

Hank (Austin)

Stephania -- always love your chats. I know he denies it, but do you think that Ortiz's wrist injury from a few years ago is contributing to his slow start?

Stephania Bell
  (3:30 PM)

Hank: Thanks for coming...I'm not sure that I think that. Specifically b/c he ultimately had the issue addressed prior to last year. I think he might be one of those scenarios where the cumulative effects of the toll on his body is catching up to him, slowing him down and making him overall less effective.

MIKE (TAMPA, FL)

Dick-K going to make it back soon? Do you feel that he will stay healthy once he gets back? Thanks Stephania!

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Mike: Well, he sure had a nice rehab outing showing us that he's definitely still got the stuff. I think he has a couple more rehab starts to go (they really want to be sure about his endurance b/c that's where he's been weak). As to whether he can last? That's the big IF...

Gino (SF)

Do you think Lincecum will go to the slate and stay healthy all year? He is not a muscleman, and there are concerns about his durability.....

Stephania Bell
  (3:34 PM)

Gino: Never a question I can answer...we see guys who look like they SHOULD get hurt, and they don't. And guys who look like the picture of health, then a freak injury. There's always a concern when guys get way up in IP over a year...but they are watching him closely for that reason this year, especially with early concerns this year about his velocity. I still like his chances.

Connor (Gainesville)

I know being behind the plate takes a toll on Montero's knee's, but I am just curious why a torn meniscus is a huge deal? Dr. James Andrews used mine to repair my torn ACL so I don't even have one in my left knee. Have you ever met Dr. Andrews? Pretty cool guy. Anyway, love your expertise and your work is truly one of a kind in the fantasy world and is much appreciated, Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Connor: The meniscus is the cushion for the joint (there are 2 in each knee) - I wrote a piece yesterday on why this is so problematic for Montero so won't repeat here, but hopefully that helps.And yes, I know Dr. Andrews. In fact, I was in NY a week ago interviewing him, John Smoltz and Sam Bradford in relation to a national campaign they are all involved in to help prevent overuse injuries in youth athletes. Should be upcoming soon on ESPN.com so hope you all keep an eye out for it...

Matt (Indianapolis)

Any news on Ted Lilly? Do you think he will have any lingering issues during the year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:38 PM)

Matt: SO far Lilly has enjoyed an uneventful rehab course. He is scheduled for a rehab start this week and if all goes well, he'll have a couple of those and then hopefully rejoin the team within 2-3 weeks. I think his pattern so far suggests that we should be very encouraged heading into the season.

Doug (My Couch)

Hey Stephania, Any thoughts or updates on what makes Salty so brittle and should he come back OK from his muscular back issues?? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

Doug: Love that you're joining from the comfort of the couch...Salty had a really tough surgery in '09 - a rib removal to help alleviate symptoms related to thoracic outlet syndrome. I suspect that he is generally very tight/stiff throughout his neck/upper back which may have contributed to this latest incident on his opposite side (upper back and left shoulder, surgery was on his right). They're no doubt going to bring him back at a slower pace to help ensure that he doesn't have continued setbacks, so hard to predict how long it will take - but may be a tough problem with some lingering effects.

BriGuy (NY)

Is Andre Ethier ok after just pinch hitting a couple of games?

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

BriGuy: I think so. The Dodgers were actually very optimistic about how he was doing after the ankle sprain. The decision to hold him back a little longer was precautionary and based on the fact he had some swelling. Expect him to start soon, maybe today.

Nick (Phoenix)

Any change in Beltran's timetable? Do you expect him to be effective once he is activated?

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

Nick: I keep reading that they think he might be back in early May...but I've always maintained that I think it will be later May or even early June. As far as I'm aware he hasn't run on it yet - although that is supposed to happen soon - and how he responds to that will go a long way in determining what his remaining progression track will be...

Miichael (Portland, ME)

What's the status of Joe Blanton? Good to go soon?

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Michael: Still on long-toss program. Will need bullpens next, then the progression to games. Obliques typically average about 30 days so I would say latter part of April seems reasonable, although the team is not issuing a timetable, understandably.

RICO (NEW,WVA)

Step, Alex Gordon , when and how good?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Rico: When? Anytime now. Literally. How good? Well, we've thought he would be really, really good for some time and that hasn't quite panned out. I don't know how he'll perform but I don't think the thumb will be responsible.

Ted (NY, NY)

When people are saying that Roberts will be out more than 15 days, what are we talking here? Will he be ready by Fantasy week 4 or 5?

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Ted: It's a big unknown b/c the rate of return depends how he tolerates the adjustment to increased activity every step of the way - and when it comes to back problems, it's anyone's guess. I would say at the soonest expect 3 weeks. Maybe more like four.

Corban (OKC)

I had an autopick draft, so they drafted Kinsler, Roberts, and Hill at 2B. Do I drop one of these guys, or wait until they get healthy again?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Corban: Wow...that is the kind of luck I usually expect to have...I think you have to move one of them so you can get someone to contribute -and right now, Roberts has the most uncertainty.

Drew (Little Rock)

When will we see you in the 06010 this season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Drew: Thanks for asking...maybe this week. Nice to be missed - but those guys have had a lot to discuss without me...especially with the anniversary of rotisserie baseball...

Norman (Brooklyn, NY)

Isn't it a little risky for Chipper to be back so soon especially when he tweaked his back testing out his other injury to his side?

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Norman: But that is Chipper. Always a little banged up, going to miss a few days here, a few days there. But he also knows his body really well and is generally pretty good about knowing when he's ready to come back. So not as worried about him.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which Major League Baseball pitcher was Suspended for the first 5 games of the regular season for Spring Training Altercations(Threw a ball at a batter's head)?

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Chris: That was Cliff Lee. The suspension will be factored in once he his scheduled to return from injury.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

SB: Did you see the report on NFL injuries regarding natural grass vs artificial turf? Do you think there is credence to the report?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

SHane: Aha - an NFL question - as we get ready for the NFL draft...Yes, I'm familiar with the article. Headed up by excellent physicians. There had been some anecdotal observation by team MDs that this was the case...and then the study supported it. Certain types of injuries seem to have an increased rate of occurrence (esp ACL) on the infill (artificial) surface.

mark (la)

who will win the superbowl this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Mark: Why the 49ers of course!!

Jake (VA Beach)

Was Aaron Hill's move to the DL just to create space for a temporary fill-in? Or, are there more long-term concerns to be had?

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Jake: I think they wanted to ensure that he took the time to get healthy so that there would NOT be long-term concerns...and the DL-stint allows them to get a fill-in.

Justin (PA)

Looks like Aramis Ramirez is all healed up...any reason to worry about set backs? or is my Jorge Cantu insurance policy not needed?

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Justin: You know, I really thought he'd be headed for surgery after he had another dislocation episode of his shoulder - but he didn't. It doesn't mean he'll necessarily have another episode - but I worry that he might. If he lands with that arm outstretched, well, it could happen. I wouldn't be walking around worried about it, just be aware that it's a possibility...

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

OK everyone -time for me to go. Thanks so much for coming and bringing your awesome questions. We will keep it up every Tuesday at 3 pm! Feel free to mail me any questions as well to my mailbag (go to my blog page). If it requires a longer answer, it may show up in one of my blog entries!Good luck this week -may your players stay healthy!