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June 15, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:02 PM)

Good afternoon Sports Nation friends. There never seems to be a shortage of injuries. Always plenty to discuss. Even as NBA and NHL seasons wind down - and no NFL in sight - MLB keeping us plenty busy. Lots of questions already in the queue so here we go...

Dave (Wolcott, CT)

Vicente Padilla, is it drop time? He is very valuable in my league as a SP eligible closer. My gut says drop him, but I wanted a knowledgeable opinion first. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:05 PM)

Dave: Yes, sadly, drop. the team was encouraged after he was making progress with the forearm, but after his neck surgery, even presuming he recovers well he will have a slow return to the mound. Would not count on him this year.

Walt (NJ)

Hi Stephania, getting this one in early...Do you have any concerns with Jason Heyward coming back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Walt: Yes, I will have some concern until we see him return better and STAY better for a period of time.I have no doubt that the rest has really helped him but I'm not confident that it has eliminated the issue. I do know his shoulder is feeling much better and he clearly has made some progress swinging the bat (at least against minor leaguers) - but whether the underlying issue has resolved, only time will tell. Remember, this was bothering him off and on before, so when it first began was not an all the time thing.

art (chgo)

Steph, what are the chances that Hanley is REALLY over his injury? How can you go from not being able to sit on a plane ride to less than a week later playing ball? I dont understand it. I think he is still hurt and will be for the year but what you say?

Stephania Bell
  (3:12 PM)

Art: This - unfortunately- is another one of those we-will-have-to-wait-and-see scenarios. No one likes that. But it's true as you say that rarely do people go from unable to sit to high-level sport within a week or two. With back/nerve problems the range can be from a few days to months so we never know exactly how they're going to respond. And he did well b/c he was resting. When he returns to swinging the bat day in and day out, and traveling, it will be a big test. Would not be surprised if it flares up on him again.

Pete (Work)

Update on Cole Hamels?

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Pete: Interesting. I was fascinated with the way he just went right off the mound last night- definitely knew he was done - yet we didn't see anything really dramatic in the final pitch. He said things were tightening up and then we heard that it was his upper back. So far there's nothing to be really worried about. I think that's the sign of an experienced pitcher who knows that if he throws one more, he risks running into trouble. We shall see.

Kevin (IL)

Now that Ryan Zimmerman is back, is he a top 3 option at third?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Kevin: I think so. He is going to feel so much stronger after this surgery and rehab and he was delivering some power before he went out. So yes, like him.

Swiggs (IA)

Talk a little about Martin Prado. Staph and/or MRSA infections are a little scary. I see that he is likely out *at least* until the end of June. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Swiggs: Lots of folks asking about Prado - and there was a really good question - or series of questions (from Frank) which make me think this really deserves a longer entry in the blog. But quickly, yes, any staph infection is very serious and the decision to treat Prado's infection openly (meaning going in surgically to clean it) meant they felt they had to be more aggressive than antibiotics alone to prevent it from worsening. The reason for the long projected absence is that they leave the wound open, technically, to heal from the inside out. They continue with the antibiotics, etc and he can't do anything until the wound closes - or is close to that point. Just think - this apparently started with a mild wound from sliding. If he were to do that again, could be a huge problem. Plus has to get strength, baseball conditioning back. So it's several weeks - don't be surprised if it's until after the break.

Mark (Chicago)

Any chance this DL stint rejuvenates Morneau?

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Mark: Worried about Morneau. He has been fighting against a fairly significant issue with a pinched nerve in his neck which was causing problems in his left shoulder. Then he starts getting fluid in his left wrist and says he feels like he's swinging one-handed. He's had cortisone shots but they wanted him to rest to allow the injection to work. I'm not convinced the wrist is fully separate from the pinched nerve issue - and they're hinting he might need offseason neck surgery. So the hope is that he can get through the season - not sure the expectation is that he'll be 100%. Wonder if the DL time will be enough.

Zach (NH)

What is the timetable for Brett Anderson's return?

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Zach: I don't think there is one at this point. Reccomendation from Andrews was shut down and rehab for 6 weeks with a scheduled re-eval in 3. I suspect he has a decent injury to his UCL (the TJ lig) and that they're trying to determine whether he will be able to pitch after an extended rehab course. If he fails that, then it might mean something more drastic. But right now they're just going to see how he responds to pulling back.

casey (alabama)

What do we see in Brett Anderson's future? I'm thinking only setbacks. Should I drop him for Brandon Beachy, who starts a rehab assignment tomorrow? (two injuries in one question!)

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Casey: Well, we got to the first one just now. I would take Beachy. As you say rehab assignment begins tomorrow, then expected to follow that up five days later, then if all goes well back to rotation. He will have been out for over a month (oblique) so there is some need to build up his innings, but then he should be in good shape once he returns.

Will (Cohensville, MS)

Hi Stephania. Love your chats. What's the story with J Johnson? Just moved over to the 60-day, so how do you see the rest of his season playing out?

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Will: Thanks so much. The story is that this is now the third delay (so to speak) and probably the Marlins should stop projecting. At least until he throws from a mound. I think there's been a lot of downplay on this b/c he's so important to the team - and to be fair - I don't think there is a "significant" injury. But shoulders are tricky. And a lot of these guys have discomfort or tightness that affects their throwing and if they try to push through that they can be at risk of getting that significant injury. Last week we found out that Johnson was still having discomfort which is why he never progressed to throwing from a mound. The 60-day DL takes a little pressure off b/c instead of every few days someone asking about him, it's at least a month away. But anyone who's been following me since before the season knows I was worried back then. And the worry hasn't decreased.

Mark (NY)

Hi Stephania... Great job. . David Wright.. I see he's to be re-examined on 6/24.. What can you tell us Wright-owners about when he'll comeback?

Stephania Bell
  (3:36 PM)

Hi Mark: Thanks - and I wish I could tell you more. But that re-eval will dictate the next step. So unfortunately, it's a very boring wait for Wright who continues to condition and work on core strength and flexibility and all those critical things - but can't do anything baseball related until he's cleared. When they image his spine again, they'll decide whether they're satsfied with the healing process. So we can't project a comeback date until we hear the outcome of that. Sorry...

Paul (Chicago)

Is Colon's DL stint an actual injury, or just a way to rest him for a little while so he's still effective at the end of the season?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Paul: Did you see him trying to move to cover first that night? It's a real hamstring injury. He is not the icon of fitness and he needs to have that hamstring not be an issue in order to protect his arm.

DotCom WhizKid (Atherton, CA)

Which current DL RP has the best chance of getting double-digit saves ROS: Lidge or Nathan? The weather is great in the Bay Area this week...

Stephania Bell
  (3:41 PM)

First of all you there in Atherton - I am so jealous...miss the Bay Area and the awesome weather...Second, I think it's Nathan. I'm far less concerned about some discomfort, minor setback post-TJ surgery (not unusual at all) than I am about a pitcher who has a confirmed RTC tear. Lidge has still yet to start playing catch and then work his way back to full trhowing. Nathan on the other hand is nearing a return - and while he might not jump immediately into closer role, I think he'll get there.

Bryan (Boston)

I saw where Span was moved from the 7-day to the 15 day DL. Any updates? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Bryan: All I know is that he is still experiencing some concussion-related symptoms (although I think he was able to do some light cardio) so they simply extended the time off for that reason. Still a day-to-day assessment.

Ben (SD)

Any news on Ike Davis? Seems like he's fallen off the map.

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Ben (and the many other Ike Davis fans out there): He has, sort of. Once we heard that he was put back in a walking boot, there's really not going to be much in the way of updates until his next evaluation which is scheduled to be about a week from now. The plan (I believe) is to re-image the ankle but also examine him clinically and see if the pain has resolved enough to increase his WB activity. The last timehe tried to run it was too painful, so that will be the test again. Have to be cautious with a bone bruise deep in the ankle joint so it doesn't end up becoming a more serious problem.

Jeremy (New Jersey)

What can you tell us about Matt Holliday? Will the quad continue to be an issue moving forward?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Jeremy: Problem with muscle strains is you can only really, truly test them at the max in a game situation. The adrenaline, the reaction-type movements, etc only come in that environment. He's clearly feeling much better - but after he returns and stays healthy for a couple weeks, then we can feel better.

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

News update: Apparently the Braves have activated Jason Heyward and he is in the lineup tonight. This will be interesting. Hope he's ready.

Nick (Pittsburgh)

Andrew McCutchen seemed to hurt his left oblique in last night's game. Is this something to worry about? Is he better or worse than day-to-day?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

Nick: Well, he stayed in so it seems like that's a good sign. But I have not heard whether he is in the lineup for tonight.

Jeff (Rochester, NY)

How much longer will Furcal be out? Hopefully it's a long time, I want to pick up Dee Gordon!

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Jeff: You are persistent my friend...It's not clear what his exact return date will be but he is not expected back before early July - and you know how these things go. They will need to see how he responds once he makes it to a rehab assignment. So you may get your wish to pick up Gordon.

Mark (Chicago)

I hear Brian Matusz velocity was way down in his latest start where he got rocked. Is this a possible sign of a setback from the injury he just returned from?

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Mark: Interesting question. He definitely did not look 100 percent in his last outing. Matusz says he feels 100 percent. The team is concerned. Sometimes when a guy has been out as long as he has they are off and rusty when they return. No way to know for sure when a guy is saying he feels fine but definitely something to watch.

dan (ILL)

any thoughts on hughes' rehab?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Dan: I certainly think there's reason to be encouraged. Hughes reportedly hit in the low nineties in his rehab outing Tuesday and has been feeling good as he's been working his way back towards pitching. The Yankees will take it slow though, treating this as if he is returning to spring training and getting through an entire spring before returning to the majors. They hope to have him in July if he continues to throw well. Considering he couldn't get over the eighties this spring though, they have to feel good about the prospect of his return.

Paul (SF, CA)

Joe Mauer supposedly coming back at the end of the week. What should we be looking for to see if he is truly healthy?

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

Hi Paul: Really, I think what we're looking for is whether he can last. I won't go into all of it here - because my blog post today is dedicated to the Twins' injury issues and Mauer - but with the vague nature of what took him down in the first place, we really don't have anything to go by. Weakness and fatigue were what reportedly set him back. The million dollar question is whether he's worked through that or not. He says he feels the best he has all season and he has caught several back-to-back games. But obviously a handful of games is not the remainder of the season so.....he is one giant question mark...

Stephania Bell
  (4:04 PM)

Thanks so much everyone for coming to today's chat. Wish I could post all your questions - but I do try to read them all, even after the chat ends, so that I can try to address them in the blog posts if we don't get to them here. Tomorrow is podcast day, Fantasy Focus video and Baseball Tonight at 10 pm EST. Stay tuned...