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May 4, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:03 PM)

Hi everyone and Happy Tuesday, well, let's hope it's happy, even if you have an injury-plagued fantasy roster...trust me, I feel your pain. I too am being forced to make some tough decisions as to who to keep, who to drop...and it's quite a challenge, given the uncertainty as to some of these players' status. But...we try to break it down here as best we can, so let's get to your awesome questions.

Travis (Nashville)

Hey Stephania, thanks for coming! I'm sure you're getting asked about Mauer a lot. I, of course, just traded for him. Is this an injury that could limit him all season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Travis: I do, but you're the first! It didn't sound too good when Gardenhire called it "week-to-week" as opposed to day-to-day. But it seems that Mauer is feeling better. The injury is being called a deep bone bruise to his heel and he needs the pain and inflammation to calm down enough for him to be effective. RIght now the big question is whether he'll hit the DL. He's working in the pool to maintain conditioning, but the bottom line is we really don't know, just depends on his progress. To answer you, if they push him too soon, then it could linger. So fans should be patient now, as it could pay off later.

Mike (Soggy Oats, NY)

I just wanted to say congrats on being 100% correct on your Rollins diagnosis. You said atleast a month the day after it happened. However, I hate that you are right. What can a rollins owner expect when he does return?

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Aargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Internet issues - sorry gang!! But I'm back now - and on to Mike's question...

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Aargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Internet issues - sorry gang!! But I'm back now - and on to Mike's question...

Stephania Bell
  (3:20 PM)

So Mike, Thanks, I think... Anyway, Rollins is still having trouble moving to the left - which puts stress on his right calf. The key to how well he does is how well he is when he returns. The slow pace is a good sign. The main thing is that I expect it will take him a bit, even after he returns, to be completely confident in the explosiveness of the calf...meaning less steals.

Don (Philly)

What's the latest with Erik Bedard? Haven't heard any recent news on him.

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Don: Bedard threw a 55 pitch bullpen Friday. Probably has another bullpen or so, then on to simulated games. Still looking like best case is return at end of May, but as I always say, when guys face live hitters, things can change. Wakamatsu has said that it looks like Bedard has adjusted his mechanics to place less stress on his shoulder. The key will be whether he maintains that when facing live hitters. Of course, I think he is just a higher overall injury risk in general based on his history, but as far as returning from this surgery, looks like Late May or early June if all goes well.

Dave (Rochester, NY)

Hey Stephania! Seems to me from what I've read we may still be a few weeks away from even discussing the value Jacoby Ellsbury, but I feel like you enjoy challenges (ie working with the fantasy focus crew). I am thinking about trading for him in my fantasy league, but I am worried about what a rib injury can do to a hitter's swing both physically and mentally. Is this the type of injury that a player can put behind him quickly or will it likely bother him all season long? Thanks. You're the best.

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Dave: Ha! Good point. I do like a challenge, as you can tell. Since this is really a symptom-based return and progression, I'm not thinking that it will continue to bother Ellsbury once he's out of the woods. He recently told the Globe that his broken bones need to heal and wouldn't put a timetable on his return. Yes, the bones are healing - but the real limit to how much he can do is the pain (which is extraordinary when it comes to ribs). And torsion, like swinging a bat, is exceptionally difficult. And so..we wait.

Cody Donahue (Davenport, Iowa)

I currently have Brett Anderson on my bench who as you know is on the DL, Jorge De La Rosa, also on the DL, was dropped in my league, I was considering dropping Anderson for De La Rosa, of the two is anyones injury considered more serious than the others? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Cody: I think de la Rosa's injury is potentially more serious b/c you are talking about tissue damage on his pitching hand. Anderson, if indeed it is only the flexor tendon (and no underlying ligament issues) has a slow recovery ahead of him, but more predictable.

Dave Drew (Pittsburgh)

I'm not inspired with a whole lot of confidence by phrases like, "Roberts believes he will play this season" and "It could be 3 weeks it could be 3 months. We don't know." You said last week you were still hanging on to Brian Roberts, but how much longer before we need to abandon ship?

Stephania Bell
  (3:30 PM)

Dave: I don't blame you. Back problems are equally frustrating for players and their fantasy owners, largely b/c they are so unpredictable. I think he made that comment out of frustration, b/c he quickly added that he didn't think it would be 3 months. I'm willing to wait another 3 weeks - but if he's not resuming baseball activities within that time, then I'm probably dropping him. He might very well still get back before the end of the season, but it won't be on my team at that point.

Mike (Nashville (FLOODED))

S-Bell: Mike Gonzalez just started throwing, never pay for saves, so whats your prognosis for his return? (shhhh...he's on waivers in my league...)

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Mike: Sorry to hear about the flooding - rough storms your way...As far as Gonzalez, he's on a throwing progression and it takes several weeks to get the pitch count and velocity back. Then you have to factor in a rehab assignment, so my guess is that it's at least a month...

Parker Ryan (Nazareth)

Manny just hit the DL and I was wondering when we can expect Manny to be Manny again?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Parker: Manny's injury was not a big deal. The DL stint was to help make sure it didn't become one. Expect him back when eligible.

David (San Diego)

WoW! Lost JRoll to the DL a week into the season and now Furcal! Help! At first it sounded like a light strain and wouldnt require a DL stint, but 5days later and still no sign of him doing anything except taking ground balls, torre didnt sound to sure his starting SS would be able to make a quick recovery, is there a chance the 32yo can get healthy without goin on the DL and if he does hit the DL how long do you think it takes for him to get healthy again? im down to Alexi Ramirez who before yesterday has been terrible!

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

David: Sticking with the Dodgers, don't be overly concerned about Furcal. He is progressing with the hamstring, but like Rollins, as a shortstop, his defensive demands require him to be explosive. He's on the DL, but he should be ready to go when his time is up.

Rob (Wilmington, DE)

Just picked up Beltran off waivers because I have 2 open DL spots. Currently riding Choo, Gardner, Cargo in OF and Butler/Smoak in my two Utility spots. 12 team mixed. Dropped Correia to get him...safe transaction? I head today he is cleared to run...Does he make rehab starts by the end of May?

Stephania Bell
  (3:38 PM)

Rob: I'm not sure what you heard. My information is that he is hoping to be running in another week. We really have to see a) whether he in fact does get cleared to run and b) how he tolerates running on consecutive days. Way too early to speculate about rehab starts. I'm still not in the camp that thinks Beltran is done, but I think this is a situation where caution is what's dictated.

Alan (Yonkers, NY)

What's the word on Curtis Granderson? How long will he be out? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Alan: I'm hearing a month preliminary. It's a Grade II strain which is the biggest spectrum of injury making it very hard to predict with any accuracy. Another one of those situations where you watch what he does when he starts to get back into exercise - so hope for 4 weeks, plan on 6.

Daryl (North Battleford, Canada)

Any word on Andrew McCutchen? Couple days rest is what it sounds like? What have you found out?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Daryl: I'm thinking you're right. One of the key positive notes is that he really didn't have any swelling in the ankle, that it was more stiffness and some discomfort. Hopefully a bit of rest and treatment and it won't keep him out long.

Carmine (La Jolla)

Ms. Bell, does Happ now go onto the trash Heapp?

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

Carmine: It might be a little premature to discard him, although his last outing (bullpen) was not encouraging. The team maintains that medically he's doing OK, but that he just had a crummy outing. Nonetheless, it depends how long you're willing to wait - still looks like a few weeks to me.

Benton (Copenhagen)

Any news on Nelson Cruz? Can we expect him back when his DL stint is up?

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Benton: Thanks for making this chat international! All signs point to him returning when his DL time is up.

Ninos (LA)

Youk said that his groin was a non-issue and only missed the one game sunday, he came back strong on monday but is this something that could re-surface? kinda like Nelly in TEX, his hammy was only tight, till he played on it for a week now hes on the DL!

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Ninos: It's true, you always worry about these things cropping up again - and I certainly can't tell you that it won't. But I will say that he's been around long enough to know his body - and the fact that they let him come back so soon means there was nothing to indicate that it as terribly serious.

ck (portland, or)

Stephania,Mariano Rivera was out yesterday! Is it worth picking up JOBA? It's a matter of time before Rivera can no longer elude father time. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

ck: I would not rush to get rid of Rivera. If anyone has proven himself to be durable, it's this guy. Granted, he's having this "stiffness" - and let's just hope this is some generic stiff/soreness and NOT an early sign of an oblique injury (I do worry a bit when it's on the pitcher's opposite side from this throwing arm). But I'm not sure I would make a roster move for Joba at this point...fingers crossed.

Jason (Oakland)

Is it worth waiting it out with Miguel Montero, or should i look for a long-term replacement asap?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Jason: Depends on what you've got in his place right now. Just know that he will not be beating the deadline to come back early - plan on 6 weeks min given the injury and the position he plays.

Mike (DC)

Is Suzuki on track to come back on time? Please give me some good news! I need the roster spot with De La Rosa, Ellsbury, Granderson and Mike Gonzalez on my team :(

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Mike: If in fact, it's really a mild intercostal (muscle between the ribs) strain, then it's reasonable. And supposedly the MRI confirmed this in his case. The team expects him back when eligible (5/11) so it sounds optimistic. I'd probably watch the first day back and see how he looks swinging the bat.

dave (new york)

Any chance Duchscherer avoids the DL with his bum left hip?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Dave: Well...I'm sayin' there's a chance...but I'm not sure it's a good one. Remember he's had hip problems (which led to surgery) on the right side...and he really lacks hip flexibility, which just sets him up for trouble. In fact, I spoke with him at spring training to see how he felt after his first start (post-elbow) and he talked about needing to stay on top of his hip stretching. You have to believe that his anatomy just works against him..and since this pain feels like what he had on the other side before, it's hard to believe that this won't be more problematic than just a couple of days.

Jay (Sacramento)

Kerry Wood was makin some up and down progress in his recovery but all along the tribe said they would "take it slow" since he is known for his injury plagued seasons, he just got lit in his first rehab but does it sound like he is atleast healthy and now just needs to get his command right? From my understanding his back was never a real serious injury.

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Jay: Part of the rehab is getting your command back, as you know. So first and foremost they want to be sure that a guy does not experience symptoms. Then they want to see him increase his endurance and deliver his pitches with good location and velocity. I think what you can take from that outing is that they might extend his rehab appearances before they actually bring him back.

dan (Ottawa)

can i get a Webb update?

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Dan: Well, I suppose we should mention him each week. He says he expects to throw from a mound in the next week or so. And therein lies the big question...how will he tolerate it? Every time he's gone to the mound in the last 2 years it has presented a problem, so that will be the big challenge. Until then, too hard to predict what his chances are of making it back.

Timmy (DC)

Hey Stephania - now that Justin Mourneau is back in the lineup, is it safe to breathe a sigh of relief and say that he has avoided a repeat back injury (for now)?

fred (beantown)

Heard webb was throwing a towel off the mound. What does this mean for his return?

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

Timmy: Well it was certainly a relief for him to get back in the lineup so quickly. This is a completely separate injury from last year (that was a stress fracture in his low back, this is a muscular issue in a different location) so that is also good news. Everyone's hoping this was much ado about nothing.

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Fred: Just to follow re: the towel thing, it's a way for a pitcher to simulate the motion with an object that requires a slower, less demanding delivery. Not an uncommon training tool.

Stephania Bell
  (4:05 PM)

OK everyone - thanks SOOOO much for coming. Great questions, as always. I will be posting a blog tomorrow talking in more detail about these guys as well as some we didn't get to today. Good luck this week and may all your players stay healthy!