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June 8, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:02 PM)

Hi everyone and welcome to the injury chat! Back in Bristol today and I'm hoping for smooth sailing...NO tech issues or viruses today...So let's get right to your questions!

Tom (Connecticut)

Hey Stephania, love hearing your insight on Fantasy Focus! My question is about Nelson Cruz. I need his bat in my lineup and I'm hoping this "muscle imbalance" isn't a long-term issue. Can you give me more info about him please? Thanks in advance!

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Tom! Hey - thanks for listening - and for all those chatting, please check out the podcast for today - we talked a LOT of injuries..Cruz did some pre-game drills last week and declared that he thinks he'll be ready by the time he's eligible to come off (6/13). I think the ms imbalance is something that requires a longer-term solution. One theory for guys who frequently suffer hamstring strains (or repeat injuries) is that they might have a quad/hamstring imbalance, not only in terms of strength, but in terms of how and when the muscles fire...and there are training programs to work on that. But in the short-term it looks as if he'll return when eligible.

Mike (Boston)

Sox injuries! Any idea on returns of Ellsbury and Beckett?

Stephania Bell
  (3:07 PM)

Mike: Ellsbury is a tough call now that it sounds as if he will be seeking another opinion. Not that it changes anything he's doing, they may only confirm what he already knows, but it lets us know that he's not making huge gains.As far as Beckett,it looks like he is a ways away, as in maybe up to a month. At last report he was trying to make some mechanical adjustments and then that gave his shoulder some discomfort. SO he was shut down for 10 days. Not sure where they'll start from there.

Chris (MA)

Stephania --Any news on Edinson Volquez? Any setbacks w/ the "Tommy John" procedure? I know he still has a 50-game suspension to pay but isn't a late July return doable? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Chris: He threw at 94 mph the other day in extended spring training so his velocity is returning. There is still some strength to build up but he is definitely getting closer. The way my understanding of the suspension works, it began immediately when reported (essentially no pay for those games, he was rehabbing and not playing anyway) so I don't think it affects his timetable. The Reds will have to figure out where he fits but it sounds like after All-Star break might be reasonable.

Brad (Lexington, KY)

Stephania, I had the horrible luck of trading for Morales and having the trade go through the day that he broke his leg. Has Morales had his surgery yet and what are his chances of making it back by the time my H2H league's playoffs come around in late August? Also, Rasmus' calf injury isn't going to lead to a DL stint is it? Please say no, but thanks either way.

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Brad: Bummer, that is bad luck. Not as bad as his I'd say though. Have not been able to find out definitively as to the surgery, but all reports suggest a fibula fracture, it's just a matter of how complex to determine extent of repair and recovery.It's still only a possibility that he returns this season, we don't have enough info yet to say whether he even will. I would find a replacement who can give you something to help you right now.And Rasmus it's too soon to say. They will likely wait to see how it shapes up over the next two to three days and then decide.

Jon (NYC)

Hi! I know you discussed B. Anderson on today's podcast, but he's taking up a needed spot on my roster and it'll be heartbreaking to drop him. Re-affirm my feelings: do you see any hope for a strong second half? (sadly, my gut tells me "no")

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Jon: Well, I'm not so doom and glooma s to write off completely the second half. I mean if he stays out another month or so, that could put him back after All-Star Break and then there's still potential for him there. But this is one of those wait and see things where we really don't know if he will get "over" it this year. My feeling was that he had not really shown that he could go deep in a game when he returned this last time. I think they're more cautious this round, but I still think there's hope (some) that he performs well late July-August.

Jason (Phoenix)

There's been setback after setback with Brian Roberts. He was originally scheduled to be back mid-June. What do you expect and do you think the injury will greatly effect his performance?

Stephania Bell
  (3:20 PM)

Jason: I've said before that he has just had a supreme string of awful luck. I thought he had really turned a corner, but this latest setback, although reportedly minor, just indicates that as they try to up the intensity of his work, he struggles.It's sort of a 3 steps forward, 2 back scenario. Eventually he hopefully makes enough steps to play, but at this point, I'm not convinced that even if he does, he'll be able to play regularly or without setbacks.

Andrew (WI)

Miguel Montero seems to be about ready to come back. When he does, is this the type of injury that can limit his playing time as he comes back? In other words, does owning him mean you need to own another catcher as insurance for the rest of the year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Andrew: His injury and the way the D-Backs are treating him is expected to be resolved when he returns. They say they don't want him until he can catch 9 innings without being sore. Now it doesn't mean that the knee won't be sore from time to time even after he returns, but I wouldn't plan on carrying the burden of an insurance catcher. Of course, ANYTHING can happen, but I expect him to be back without too much incident.

Pat (NY)

Do people beleive you when you give them your job description?Who is the better DL stash? Webb, Anderson, Bedard?

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Pat: The most common question I get is "How did you get to do that?" I know, I'm lucky. I get to watch sports all the time and say it's my job...As far as the choices you're giving me I don't like any of then but I guess I'd have to say Bedard (even though it pains me) simply b/c he is the furthest along and going forward at this point. Webb still has not thrown from a mound consistently in well over a year and Anderson just recently got worse. So Bedard is the choice.

Scott (Alabama)

Good afternoon Stephania, What is up with B. Penny? What was first stated as a 'minnimal DL stay' has really turned into a mess. How long until he returns and what is his prognosis? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Scott: Well, I think when we first heard that it was a mild lat strain we thought, at least it's not the rotator cuff. But nonetheless, it can still impact throwing and as long as it's problematic you don't want a guy trying to throw hard or it can turn into a cuff problem (or even a more serious strain of the lat itself).I think their timeline was always a little optimistic, and I would expect it to be a couple more weeks given that he is supposed to throw from the mound soon.

Matt (NYC)

Hi Stephania...saw Josh Hamilton just got a cortisone shot in his knee. Having a great season so far but his has got to be a concern for the rest of the year right?

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Matt: As I said before the year started, Hamilton owners will always be concerned with his health status...b/c things are likely to crop up year round. THe cortisone shot tells you he was having inflammation, and apparently it was bothering him for the last month, so the hope is it will help, but it may well continue to nag him intermittently throughout the year.

Steve (DC)

I know Jurrjens has been throwing, how far off is he from coming back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Steve: They're aiming for rehab starts by next Weds (as in a week from now) and then it's a matter of how many they want from him. Plan on at least two. So that translates to roughly 3 weeks before return.

Norm (Brooklyn, NY)

Will Chipper require a DL stint? He seems extra unlucky this year with all these little injuries.

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Norm: Don't you think it's typical for Chipper to have a lot of these nagging injuries though? He certainly tries to push through most of them and once told me that as long as he didn't feel that he was harming the team, he'd try to play through pain.He reportedly got a shot of cortisone right into the painful finger joint - and let me tell you, that had to hurt at least as much as the finger problem itself, but then has been feeling some better since. He may play tonight and if he can stay functional, I think he avoids the DL.

Last Minute Lineup (Question)

Any news on J.J. Hardy???

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

I haven't heard yet whether he's in today's lineup...sorry, but if he isn't, it's looking like another DL trip.

Andy (Hartford, CT)

Any insight on Travis Snider's rehab is going. What can expect upon his return? He was really showing promise right before the injury. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

Andy: Hi neighbor in Hartford! Snider just started hitting off a tee and it remains to be seen how he progresses. Since his condition was primarily inflammatory, the benchmark is as they progress his program, how does the wrist respond? In other words, is he able to smoothly go from one step to the next? Sounds like he's a few weeks away -and how he does on return will be dependent on whether the injury really completely resolved - unfortunately, no way to know until he's back - and sustained his performance for a couple weeks.

Paul M (Bristol, CT)

I saw R Davis was yanked from the game yesterday - any updates? What happened?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Paul: Even closer of a neighbor! Yes, pulled because of hamstring tightness. He called it minor and the team calls him day-to-day, but I tend to worry a little more when it's a guy whose game relies on speed. He is going to put a lot of demand on the hamstring b/c of how he runs. The key is making sure minor doesn't become major so don't be surprised if he sits for a few days.

Clayton (LA, CA)

Just curious, we hear about cortisone shots a lot. Are they effective long term or are they temporary solutions to get the player through the season.

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Clayton: Really designed as a short-term solution to help decrease inflammation. If the problem then resolves, I suppose you could say the solution was long-term..

Kent (NYC, NY)

If Jorge De La Rosa has a successful bullpen today throwing breaking balls for the first time, what timetable to you see for his return?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Kent: For a while it has looked like early July and at this point I don't think that changes. While his progress is good news, the team can afford to take it slow with how everyone's been doing - and the key IS taking it slow, b/c a worsening of this injury could mean surgery -and remember it happened during pitching to begin with. The presumption is that the rest he had early on allowed the tissue to scar and now he's working back up his strength, endurance and getting the range of pitches back. I might not even be surprised if it goes until after the All-Star Break, but a lot will depend on how each step goes from here.

Matt (Indianapolis)

Any updates on Jimmy Rollins?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Matt: Just that he says he has no idea when he's coming back. Obviously this time around there is more caution, more concern since this was an exacerbation of an injury he thought was behind him. In fact, everyone did everything right the first time and there was no indication that he was anything less than 100%...that is until he pulled it again within days of returning. The range has been labeled as anywhere from weeks to a month or more, meaning nothing definitive.He has not run full speed yet or run the bases, so it's not yet close.

Ryan (NY)

Is Kinsler's ankle still bothering him or did he just declare a war against hitting home runs this year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Ryan: Kinsler actually acknowledged two things relatively recently - that he's hitting the ball more down the line as opposed to in the air (hence the drop in HR) and that his ankle is still a factor and limits his running. I think we knew he wasn't going to get a bunch of steals when he returned, but he's openly admitted the ankle is not at full strength. Not surprising - high ankle sprains are rough - and it's not likely to get tons better during the season.

Tim (MA)

Hi Stephania,What's the deal with Mike Gonzalez? Is his velocity back, I've been hearing mixed reports? THANKS!

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Tim: I think you're hearing mixed reports b/c his bullpens have been mixed. After a difficult last outing, he is scheduled to throw two more bullpens this week before the team decides what to do, but last week's outing set him back. Not prepared to say how long until he returns b/c I'm not yet convinced he's past this...

matt (minnesota)

Any news on orlando Hudson is he going DL today?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Matt - and all others who are curious: Wish I could give you the definitive answer but I haven't heard it yet...still waiting, but all signs point to yes...

Go 9ers! (cheap ploy)

any news outta ja happ?

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Cheap ploys work! Happ is supposed to begin a rehab assignment today so we need to see how it goes, but that's usually the last phase before return.

Johnny Hotpants (the kids' pool)

I'm beginning to suspect Chase Utley may not be entirely healthy. Any chance his struggles are the result of a lingering hip issue?

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Doubt that. Utley's hip is fine. He did have the flu in mid-May and that may have affected him for a few days, but I just think he's in a bit of a slump. As Charlie Manuel said though, Cant' wait to see what happens when he comes out of it.

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

OK everyone - Time for me to go. Thanks so much for coming. Please check out today's Fantasy Focus podcast and we'll be back with more next week! Stay healthy!