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June 22, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:02 PM)

Hi everyone and welcome to the Tuesday chat! I see that some of you have lined up some great questions already so let's get right to them!

Drew (Oaktown)

News today on Aybar's possible DL stint?

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Hi Drew: Yes, the news is coming today but no, I have not heard it. He has certainly been making improvements and was to be evaluated again yesterday. The thought is that he will either be listed in the lineup or placed on the DL so either way, we should know soon.

Brian (Minneapolis)

Hi StephaniaHeard anything about Asdrubal Cabrera's recovery?

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Brian: It's still in the healing phase as far as his forearm fracture so he's mostly doing standard rehab activity...which is why you don't hear much. The team has suggested that he is still on track for a return in late July or early August.

Travis (Nashville)

Hey Stephania, thanks for being here! There are quite a few injured starters getting ready to come back soon: Volquez, Bedard, De La Rosa, J Zimmerman and Brett Anderson. Who stands out to you as the best of that bunch?

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Travis: Thank YOU for being here...Yes, everyone on your list should be making a re-appearance relatively soon after the All-Star Break, except for de la Rosa who may be back the week prior. In fact, de la Rosa is the name I like of your grouping there. He's had a steady recovery from this injury and so far there's no reason to expect a setback. He needs to get some rehab starts under his belt but should then be good to go. I'm always less likely to place a lot of hope in guys coming off Tommy John, at least initially, as their performance can go up and down. Anderson concerns me some and Bedard is, well, Bedard.

Derek (Seattle)

With Huston Street coming of the DL this week, do you feel confident he is coming back a 100% healthy? Based on the setbacks he has already had this year I don't want to get too excited that he is ready to fire on all cylinders quite yet and create roster room for him. Thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Derek: So hard to say with him since he's had a multitude of injuries in the past. You can only go by how he's performing of late, and everything suggests that he is ready to return. How long he can go before something crops up again is anyone's guess. That's the risk with a guy who has an extensive injury history. I think the Rockies too are going to ease him back in, using him out of the bullpen as a late reliever without forcing him into the closer role b/c they want to see how he fares.

Marissa (Texas)

Hi Stephania! Fantasy baseball owner of De la Rosa, Tulo, and CarGo here. Just as De la Rosa was about to come back Tulo goes down with a sore wrist that quickly turned into a broken wrist. Add CarGo's bruised knee to the mix and I hit the trifecta. What is up with the injuries in Colorado? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:12 PM)

Marissa: I think it is just a serious case of some bad luck. They are a variety of injuries, sort of all over the place, no rhyme or reason. The good news with CarGo is that it looks like his was really minor and he could be back tonight, although that's not a lock.

Chris (Ohio)

I've been stashing Travis Snider on my DL for a while now. It seems like his wrist isn't getting any better, any idea what is going on?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Chris: These wrist injuries can be really tricky -and sometimes a player just can't progress with certain things. In his case, swinging a bat has been problematic. He can throw but not hit. There is so much torque through the wrist with swinging that it can be tough to get the stroke back. Right now there's no word that the injury has worsened, just that he has plateaued for now, so his return has been pushed back until at least after All-Star Break.

Brandon (Cincinnati)

Hey Stephania. Just wanted to see what you thought about Nelson Cruz. Supposed to be back today. Any cause for concern moving forward or any chance his production falls after the 2nd return from injury this season?

Brandon (Cincinnati)

Is Tim Lincecum's shoulder okay after getting hit the other day?

Stephania Bell
  (3:17 PM)

Brandon: Always a concern with hamstring injuries, especially now that he's had them on both sides. I would direct you to a piece I wrote last week on this where I explain why I'm concerned in more detail, but there's no real way for the team to test him other than to let him come back.

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Brandon: How did you sneak two past me? I must have just fallen for the Lincecum question since he is with my beloved Giants. And to answer your question he feels much better, expected to start tonight.

Matt (Oakland )

Is Tulo going to be closer to the 6 or the 8 weeks?

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Matt: If I had to guess, I'd say closer to 8. Depends on how fast bone actually heals b/c that will determine when he can start doing more with his hand. On the plus side, he did not need surgery. But the down side with these fractures is the stiffness that they get in the wrist after having the forearm immobilized for so long. Then they have to get comfortable handling the bat again. You hate to see a hot hitter get injured like this b/c it interrupts their groove and sometimes it can take them quite a while to get back on track, even after resuming play.

Matt (Oakland )

Beltran: still looking like after the All Star break? Will he be up to form by then? The Mets talk optimistically, but I feel like it is a front.

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Matt: Why on earth would you be suspicious of what the Mets said? (sarcasm noted here) I think we all have learned to take the projections with a grain of salt. While Beltran is reportedly eager to make the next step (moving to a rehab assignment) it is not yet a done deal. He will not be the runner of old and while I think he can contribute, certainly in power, I think he will be limited in terms of time of play initially (all assuming the rehab assignments go well and he can make it back) and won't be speedy.

Ryan (Chicago)

J-Roll update?

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Ryan: Your question is timely. The Phillies activated him today so expect him in the lineup tonight. Now we have to hold our collective breaths for a couple weeks until we're convinced that he's out of the woods.

Fred (New York)

I was watching the Phils Mets game a while ago and the Mets broadcaster noted Utley's swing is off and he suspected an injury. What are your thoughts on this ?

Stephania Bell
  (3:30 PM)

Fred: Sticking with the Phillies, there had been some minor commotion over the idea that Utley was playing through a knee injury, which resulted from some comments in an interview with Davey Lopes. But Amaro came out with a strong denial, adding that every player deals with occasional soreness. Utley had a couple good performances this weekend which seems to confirm that he's OK.

Ryan (NY)

Is A-Rod's hip going to be a lingering problem all year? Between him as my first round pick and Kinsler as my second, you can probably guess that I'm taking a beating in the long ball department

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Ryan: There's certainly some cause for concern. This hip has been giving him some intermittent trouble for a while and it's not really clear what the source is. It's been called a groin strain, then a hip flexor strain. He's been in the lineup but not always effective. It's his right hip, the one he had surgery on last year - and while the team maintains it's unrelated, which is certainly possible, he needs power off that hip when batting and pushing off out of the batter's box. It can be the kind of thing that can linger and nag at a player until addressed - and the guy he used to go to for treatment is no longer available to him. Not that that's a bad thing -it just means it's different.

Jason (Phoenix)

Brett Anderson scheduled to come back 3-4 weeks. Think he'll be healthy enough to last longer than 2 outings this time?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Jason: It's a good question. I would imagine that the progression back is going to be a little more protracted - and essentially slower - than last time, simply for the fact that he had a setback, but it's more problematic this time since it did flare up so easily.

Steve (Latham, NY)

Ellsbury returning before April 2011?

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

Steve: I definitely think so. I think that he needed some true away-from-baseball-rest and time to try to let this injury really get behind him. I'd be surprised if he returned before the All-Star break (the team does not want to get in the routine of an up-and-down situation) but I believe he will come back and could make a strong late-season run.

Phil (Madison)

I just traded for Ian Kinsler - do you expect his legs to allow him back on the 20-20 pace he's shown the past few years (missing a few HR and SB due to his injury, of course)?

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Phil: I know you've already done the deal so I hate to say this...but no. He's consistently admitted, even as recently as last week, that the ankle is still a problem - the two biggest places? Getting out of the batter's box and stealing. Once he's up to speed he's OK and defensively he's OK, but he can't generate power. Not a huge surprise given the injury, but I don't see it getting much better until he has an offseason to rest it.

Andy (Vegas)

J.Upton took a nasty beanball and was on the ground in pain for about 10minutes. He stays in the game, looks fine, and jacks his 2nd bomb of the game in his last AB. Totally fine or does he miss a game or two due to swelling?

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Andy: I haven't heard anything - but it wouldn't surprise me if he had a major headache today and they gave him an off day. THat said, if he feels fine, no reason to force him out.

Chance (Ocean City, MD)

Halladay has a lot of miles on his arm, Should this be a concern in a keeper league?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Chance: I don't necessarily think so. He seems to be one of those rare pitchers who has the good genetics to accompany his talent and work ethic. While there are never guarantees, he's been pretty fortunate so it's hard to expect anything less.

Buff (Sea Isle City, NJ)

Is this a lost season for JA Happ? Phillie fan and keeper league owner, his problems are a double-whammy...

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Buff: TOo early to say that. He's in line for one, maybe two more rehab starts as they want to see the velocity come up for him. But he could be activated shortly afterward so keep an eye on him this week.

Sam (DLVILLE, ND)

Webb? tell me if he'll be back this year. He just threw 75 pitches from the mound last week...good sign, no?

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

Sam: Yes, this was huge. I've been saying that the giant test would be pitching off a mound. But AJ Hinch said it best in that he really emphasized not getting ahead of ourselves. They will keep this at a very slow controlled pace and will want to pay close attention not only to how he's feeling but how his mechanics look. So yes, encouraging but we're far from there.

Minko (Orlando)

U have a lot of faith in volquez giving a fantasy team a big playoff push?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Minko: DOn't know about a LOT, but sure, if I had room on my bench I'd stash him with the hope he could help me in that situation.

Benny (Boston)

Hi Stephania!Beckett threw a bullpen session recently! Will we see starting for the Sox before July 1st? Additionally, when should I drive to down Pawtucket to watch his rehabs? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Benny: I like the positive thinking! But it's too soon to start making your schedule around a rehab assignment. He has had some ups and downs with his back so they will want a few bullpen outings that are successful before they move to rehab. I do not see him back before the Break.

Justin Upton (Arizona)

I got hit in the Elbow, not the head.

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Of course you did. Maybe it was me who got hit in the head, which would explain my headache...and my misspeak.And glad the numbness went away after you got hit. Now are you playing today? That's what everyone wants to know.

Dan (Vermont)

Thoughts / update on Rich Harden's injury / recovery? THANKS!

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Dan: It's interesting. They've been calling it a strained glute yet he got a lower back injection, which suggests that it's really a back problem causing the pain (not an uncommon pain referral pattern). But, if indeed it is his back, that does make the problem a little more serious. He was given a few days off to rest after the injection but is expected to resume throwing this week. Looks still too far away to give a reasonable timetable.

Richard (Lodi, MN)

Asking this with Brian Roberts in mind, is an epidural like a cortisone shot where it's a short term fix to get a player through the season?

Alan (DC)

Why doesn't Brian Roberts herniated disc require surgery...is this something they're just trying to put off until the off season?

Stephania Bell
  (4:05 PM)

This answer is for Richard and Alan since the questions on Roberts go together. The epidural is really a cortisone shot - but the name describes where the medication is delivered - in the epidural space -which is adjacent to the spinal nerves. The idea is that the anti-inflammatory effect will be more localized if the injection is placed right there, and since much of the pain is associated with inflammation, if you can calm that down, you can often get pain relief. While the hope is that it can act quickly, it's not meant to be a quick fix on its own. The thought is if you can quiet the symptoms. then you can get to the business of rehabbing the athlete and getting back to activity.And surgery is not automatic, usually a last resort and done when a surgeon has a clear idea that the surgery will help - i.e. an obvious spur hitting a nerve, or a clear, isolated disc. Sometimes even with imaging it's not obvious which area is the source of the problem. And then there can be a high failure rate after surgery in those cases. So there are a number of factors that are evaluated and it still may be that if nothing else works, surgery may be something they opt to do later.

Stephania Bell
  (4:07 PM)

OK - time for me to check out of the chat room. Thanks so much for coming and bringing all of your great questions. Hope to see you here next week! Until then, stay healthy...