Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 27, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:02 PM)

Hi everyone: Sorry about last week - technical difficulties!! But back in business this week and hopefully we can get to a bunch of your questions. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer - I can see that football is on the horizon though as the fantasy drafts approach and those questions are on the rise in the inbox...

Scott (NJ)

I read Torii Hunter suffered a concussion. Will he be playing tonight, if not, should we expect him this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Hi Scott:yes, this was a bit of a surprise to me. It turns out that his collision with the wall made him "foggy" as he described it. I would be surprised if he plays tonight following a head injury, but if the symptoms were very brief in duration and there are no lingering effects with exercise, then he may come back quickly.

Mike (Boston)

Hey Stephania! Edinson Volquez, would you start him tonight? He seemed to get the control back in his first start, then looked really bad in his second, is there a chance the second start was just a bump and his control could be back to being stellar? How long does this usually take? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Mike: First, bear in mind that Volquez could be up and down to begin with. Then factor in that it often is the case that pitchers' command is erratic when they first return from surgery. Sometimes it's just a handful of outings but sometimes it's several months before they really return to form. If you look across his rehab outings (and clearly it's not the same as pitching in the majors), Volquez had a couple lousy outings mixed in but for the most part was solid.

Nate (Chicago)

Whats going on with Justin Morneau? Is he coming back soon and when he does will he be able to maintain his productivity? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Nate: No timetable on his return - and in the case of a concussion, there never is. It's always a matter of how a player feels from one day to the next and once tthe resting symptoms are cleared, it becomes how well he tolerates exercise (do any symptoms return). Assuming that he fully recovers before he returns, it should not affect his play going forward, but given his lengthy history of past concussions, you can bet the team will be very cautious with his progression.

Micah (CT)

Tulo and ellsbury are killing me any updates?

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Micah: Blog posting today - just for you! with more on these two. But the good news is Tulo is expected back in the lineup tonight. Ellsbury is back in competition (rookie league) with a move to Double-A edging closer, probably still a couple weeks away.

Paul (Madison)

Stephania-- Answer MY Dan Haren question!!?? Seriously, I JUST traded for him yesterday--for Ubaldo. He's going to be OK, right?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Oh Paul, wow, bummer...I actually was hoping that results of Haren's "further evaluation" would be in before chat time but that is not the case. It sounds like they're thinking soft tissue injury and if that's the case, depending on how much swelling, discomfort, it's possible he could not miss a start. If there's any bony injury, then it's bad news...but so far they sound optimistic anyway...

Joel (MA)

Hi Stephania. How long of an adjustment period do you expect now that Troy Tulowitzki is returning? I know wrist injuries are tough to recover from for hitters, but should Tulo's smooth rehabilitation be cause for optimism for his fantasy owners? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Joel: This is a tough one. I don't expect him to come out of the gates over .300. The bone is really sensitive to vibration so he may still be affected when making hard contact a bit. And it will be interesting to see if they pitch him inside to test how confident he is. That said, he did have a good rehab outing and he really was not down as long as he could have been with this injury, which all works in his favor coming back. Let's put it this way. I'm cutting him some slack for the first week or so, but expect him to bounce back relatively quickly.

Tim (Latrobe, PA)


Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Tim: Not much to say at this point. Hope to gain more info as trg camp progresses b/c the clues will certainly come as we see if the team ends up letting him practice (most of you have heard he was placed on active PUP list before camp, which leaves team the option to place him on reserve PUP to start season - which would mean he'd be out first 6 weeks). I think this is just a cautious move, but a SMART one and it will be a day-to-day assessment to see how his knee responds to an increased workload before they decide whether to let him do team drills, etc.

Tom (Lakeview)

Stephania, welcome back! My question is regarding Steve Smith (CAR). Any concerns heading into the season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Hi Tom: Haven't heard much since he re-broke his forearm and went for surgery #2. At the time I said I expected him to be ready for the season (and I still do) although we might not see much of him in camp/pre-season. Naturally there is a concern when you break the same bone twice. Much of how it plays out may be subtle - will he stiff-arm (which he's known for) with the same confidence, will it be on his mind when he falls to the ground or an opponent's helmet is coming at him...hard to anticipate how those things will go. But he is tough - and at the end of the day I don't have any supreme concerns heading into the season.

Chris (Boston)

Hi Stephania. How is Chase Utley feeling? Still aiming for a late August recovery?

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Chris: I think Utley is aiming for mid-August, but it's still too early to tell if he meets that target or not. He has his cast off and is no doubt working on regaining his range of motion. He projected that he could beat the target by a couple of weeks, but that thumb can be awfully stiff after being immobilized. No definitive word out of Philly but I would put his return at late August optimistically.

Devyn (CA)

Hi Stephania. I have been watching sportcenter and your show, but I can't help but notice their saying there has only been 5 no-hitters/perfect games. If I am correct, it should be 6. Perfect Games: Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay,Mark Buerhle. No-Hitters: Ubaldo Jimenez, Edwin Jackson, and Matt Garza. Is that correct?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Devyn: I think you have it all correct EXCEPT Buerhle's perfect game was last season. I'm going off memory - but I think that's the difference.

Seth (Bowdoin College)

What are the chances Michael Turner is injury-free in 2010?

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Seth: Now Seth, anyone who knows me knows I will not go so far as to predict who could go injury-free. There are so many variables to account for that there is no way to predict anything like that with any degree of accuracy - would just be a guess...but what I do look at is what types of injuries guys are coming off of, what their injury history has been and how their age, position, the guys around them, etc might make me more or less concerned. In Turner's case, we know he had a high ankle sprain that never really got all the way better during the season. As of OTAs he rated himself at 90% recovered - and frankly would have liked to know it was 100% better at that point. It has already been advertised that they plan to split carries amongst their backs more which could make for a healthier season for him - and more productive in the sense that he won't get as worn down. I don't expect the amazing year he had two years ago; solid but not crazy good.

Rigidy (Hartford)

Is Osi's injury the kind that we will see slowing him down on the field?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Rigidy: Based on what we're hearing, I would say that it may certainly impact him. You go to see a specialist b/c something is bothering you. When that person says you can wait until after the season to have surgery but will have to deal with some pain (which is what we're hearing), then you have to think that the hip could slow him down. It might just be intermittent but it seems to me that this might be the kind of thing that could fluctuate but also get progressively worse as the season continues.

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Rigidy: Based on what we're hearing, I would say that it may certainly impact him. You go to see a specialist b/c something is bothering you. When that person says you can wait until after the season to have surgery but will have to deal with some pain (which is what we're hearing), then you have to think that the hip could slow him down. It might just be intermittent but it seems to me that this might be the kind of thing that could fluctuate but also get progressively worse as the season continues.

Dave (Rockview)

Hi Stephania, thanks for the blogs! Do we have any kind of timetable yet on Bedard, or is it time to cut bait?

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

Hi Dave: Well, if you read my blog, you probably already know what I'd say about Bedard. Word is that he's seeking another opinion, but I have heard nothing to suggest encouragement that he will indeed pitch this year. it sounds more like the options as to how to treat are being considered.

Daniel (NY)

Have you gotten the chance to watch Beltran play since he's back? Has his general terribleness (so far) been related to the injury?

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

Daniel: Did not know that terribleness was a word...but I like it. We have to be a little fair; he was out of the game for virtually a year. And we know his knee is not perfect. I think he has yet to really get his timing back, etc. I've always said that I don't expect him to be the base stealing Beltran, but I do think the power comes eventually. Every time he plays another opponent he's seeing that pitcher for the first time in a I would say it's a matter of time (yes, I know, hopefully before the fantasy season is over).

Bob (ATL)

Pedroia takes the boot off and runs/jogs? When do you expect him back in the lineup?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

Bob: He did...but he limped. Clearly this was still uncomfortable for him. Although he overall is progressing, he simply has to allow the bone healing to run its course. I think this will be every bit of the 6 weeks that it was projected to be. pedroia was scheduled to see Dr. Yocum today. I have not yet heard any results of that visit, but I suspect it will not be earth shattering. Just more of the same cautionary encouragement. The one thing I really like in pedroia's case is that when he does come back, with everything he's been doing to stay sharp, I think he comes back Pedroia-like.

Ryan (NY)

In all your years at the job, have you ever treated anyone who tore their knee slamming a pie at someone else?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Ryan: One of the things I always liked about being a PT would be hearing the stories patients would tell about how they got their injuries. You could not make up some of the things you heard. And no, slamming a pie in the face leading to a meniscus injury was not on my list of bizarre injuries...until now.

john (mass)

Hi Stephania! what do u hear about Coghlan? put on the DL, but will he need surgery? will he be out rest of yr?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

John: So the follow-up is whether or no he'll need surgery. It sounds like there was some swelling shortly after so they will evaluate him later in the week to make that decision. If he does have surgery you're talking at least a month, probably longer.

Homer (Springfield)

Any update or gut feeling on B. Webb pitching this year? Do you think he's worth keeping stashed on my DL?

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Homer: He's really one of those high risk, questionable reward. Best case scenario I think is you might get him for september. he's thrown a few bullpens which have been encouraging, but keep in mind he hasn't pitched in the majors since opening day of 2009. If you need help in another area, I wouldn't hold a spot for him.

Joe (NY)

I picked Brian Roberts off waivers in my keeper league, so he's now quite cheap to keep for next year, but all the issues from this year are making me nervous. What's your prognosis for him the rest of the year and next year, especially in terms of steals potential? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Joe: Always tough to make a long-term call when you're talking about a herniated disc, an injury with a high recurrence rate. And although he's back now, he hasn't been back for long enough to really make a big deal out of it. While I'm encouraged, I'm still in a wait-and-see mode. And I think steals will be few and far between in the near future. If he stays healthy through September (let's face it, they're not playing in October) and has a healthy off-season, I think he's got a good chance to return to form next year. But no doubt that it's a gamble.

Don (Toledo)

Does Corey Hart appear ready to play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

Don: Still touch and go. the thumb apparently is still bothering him quite a bit when trying to grip the bat. No DL murmurings just yet, but dont be surprised if it's several more days before he returns (and that's assuming there's decent progress).

Jason (Phoenix)

Does Jordan Zimmerman make it back this year?

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

Jason: I think you'll be seeing him in August!

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to go. So glad that we made it through today uneventfully! great, fabulous questions as always...and please have a healthy and safe week.