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April 27, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Good morning folks...a little technical delay (never like seeing the blue screen on my computer), but it seemed to restart just fine. Fingers crossed we can proceed uneventfully...

Cody (Atlanta, GA)

What's your thoughts on Crawford? Reports say 3 months. I drafted him in 5th round looking for a huge bounceback. I have Nelson Cruz, Bourn, Holliday, and Berkman for OF when Lance gets back. So hold out and hope he comes back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Cody: I think the 3 month reports are generally fair, assuming things go well. If they don't go well and he doesn't improve, then it could mean surgery (as in Tommy John). It's also possible that it could take less time. But given the fact he was coming off the wrist, had a setback, never really got far in terms of return to game play, I don't see it being a rushed effort. As far as holding on, if you've got the space you could but I would monitor his progress and if a trade comes up for you and you have another position of need, I'd consider it.

Craig (Harrisburg, PA)

Are you hopeful my Phillies will have Howard back before the All-Star break? Any optimism for him would help me please!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Craig: Wish I could be more optimistic but the slow healing wound means he hasn't been able to be as aggressive in terms of activity as the team had hoped by now. It's really tough to put a timetable on things until we see him get into baseball activities. They hope that can start in another week. The Phillies say that then it will be like his spring training - which would suggest another month. But that may be slowed once he gets into it if strength, power not where it needs to be. So it's possible, but I'm not ready to wager on it.

Brad (Florida)

Ok.....professional opinion needed......is Giancarlo Stanton healthy? He can't possibly be this bad unless that knee is far worse than we are being told.

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Brad: Well, it's hard to know how much the knee is affecting him when he continues to play through it. But even he has said it's up and down and it may be the inconsistency of it that's making it difficult for him. It's hard to get in a groove when some days feel good and others are lousy. The hope is that he'll turn a corner in that department and his playing will improve along with it...I certainly wouldn't be writing him off.

Ace (NY)

What kind of p/t do you think A. Craig will get when he returns? Sit once a week? Sporadic or every day player? Is 400 AB possible with high teen HRs and double digit sb? Would you rather have him over Inge (wherever he lands) or Lomba?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Ace: You are persistent! OK. I can't see them using him every day right off the bat. Even in this minor league rehab assignment, he's DH-ing so far. Whether they put him in the field first before returning him (which it seems like they would do but not clear) might influence how I felt about that. If he doesn't, then I think it will be more sporadic as he works back. But yes, of your choices, he's the one I keep.

Nick (NYC)

Any news on Jim Johnson's status?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Sounds like he could be released from the hospital today. Apparently it was a bacterial infection and, as evidenced by what happened to him, these can be quite serious and definitely draining. Even if he's released from hospital, it's not clear when he'll get back into playing, probably depending on how long it takes him to get strength back, just start feeling normal again after being so ill.

Jason (Pittsburgh)

If Ellsbury has progressed they way they are making it out, is it safe to say he won't have surgery?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Jason: I think it's pretty safe to say it's not in the plan...for now. He has started to improve his range of motion, apparently is out of the sling, all a normal progression following this injury. What remains to be seen is how he fares functionally (can he swing the bat and hit normally, can he play defense the way he needs to) and we won't know that for a while. There's also a possibility that he gets through the season but needs something done in the offseason. Or that it fully resolves and nothing is needed. Just can't say until the episode runs its course.

Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]

What are reasonable expectations for utley when he is finally (hopefully) activated in Philly?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Ryan: Cross your fingers. Certainly the Phillies sound optimistic that Utley is making some real progress, that his legs are stronger and he's getting closer. Last year he had no setbacks once he returned. Surely they're hopeful of repeating that but impossible to tell. I definitely see them scheduling more off days, at least up front, after him having such a tough time starting for the second year in a row.

Jeff (NY)

Heard Gibson said that Young will be out greater amount of time than 15 DL-any word how he is progressing from his shoulder injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Jeff: Very quiet on him. Have not heard anything. But the D-Backs said at the outset that they expected he'd miss more than the 15 days so 3 weeks still sounds like the soonest.

Ben (NH)

Cliff Lee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Ben: Lee has been playing catch and it sounds like so far so good on that front. But that's still light throwing. Lee sounds as if he thinks he'll come off the DL when eligible May 4. But obliques often tricky and when a guy starts throwing harder, they can act up. Cautiously optimistic.

Norman (New York, NY)

Hi Stephania,I've heard that Tommy John Surgery affects control more than velocity after initial recovery. That being the case, how long do you think it will be before Wainright pitches the way he was pre-surgery?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Norman: FOr the most part that's true. Guys will say their velocity is back before they feel comfortable with their location, control being consistent. We sometimes forget that even when guys return, it usually takes another year before we see them at their pre-injury form. That perspective can be altered depending on when a guy is injured. Take Strasburg for instance. He came back for a few innings last year. He had an opportunity to get out there and then comes back strong this year. Wainwright is first coming back at the start of this season and runs right into the full season, perhaps a little more difficult to be consistent. Soooo...we sdon't know when it fully turns the corner but I don't count on it before late this year, early next.

Jake (ATL)

Whats up with Kendrys Morales? Is his slow start due to the ankle still not being right, or is it just rust from being out of the game for 2 years?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Jake: Probably a combination of the two. The ankle is still adapting. Even though he's not complaining (at least that we know about) of significant issues, he still doesn't feel quite like himself. And then there's not playing for 2 years. I expect he'll continue to ramp upward but it may take a couple of months.

Matt (Astoria)

Any update on Morse? Will he be able to get his power back when he returns?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Matt: Too early since he's still in the hiatus from baseball activity. We need to see if he's able to return fully before we know about power. That said, he felt like hitting was not really an issue for him. It was all about the throwing. So aside form just being removed from baseball for quite a while the power should ultimately return.

Matt (DC)

Do you see any limitations moving forward from Ryan Zimmerman's injury, or is this something that will completely resolve itself? Also, some players (Zimmerman is one) are injury prone, is this coincidence or are some players bodies just not as durable as others?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Matt: It should get better with adequate rest although he is getting another opinion this weekend in L.A. If truly there is only some inflammation, the expectation is that it will settle and he can get back to doing what he does. And there's a high variability between players as far as how prone they are to injury, most of which we can't predict unfortunately.

mark (nyc)

What's the story with Santos? Is this just a 3-week thing, or could he be out for a while?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Mark: Well they've said he'll miss at least 4 weeks so there's that. But part of the uncertainty comes from not knowing how he'll respond once he's allowed to start throwing again. Shoulders always a roll of the dice.

Andrew (SF)

Update on Brett Anderson? Think he can return to form?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Andrew: Last weekend he threw to live hitters and is expected to do so again soon. The A's sound encouraged by his progress. He was projected to return a month or so after the All-Star Break but that could change. Still, as we talked about earlier here, sometimes guys are feeling good but when they get into regular competition, their command is more iffy. I think he can return to form, just don't know if we see that this year.

Ted (Baltimore)

Stephania any new news on both R.Dempster and S.Drew? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Ted: Sounds like the team hopes Dempster will still just miss the two starts and be back in early May as planned. Drew is making some real progress with running the bases which was one of the things that had remained difficult for him. The strides he's making are a huge positive but still think he's a couple weeks away.

Andrew (SF)

Is this neck thing going to be a season-long issue for Reimold? Pat Burrell as a Ray comes to mind.

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Andrew: They're hoping that's not the case. And he seems to be past the painful spasms, for now. But when it comes to spine issues, you never know.

Ryan (Chicago)

Any news of Gamel and his shoulder injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Ryan: Just that he's day-to-day since the collision. DOesn't sound like anyone is overly concerned.

Vil B. (Silver Spring MD)

Daniel Hudson: are the D-Backs downplaying his injury? What does "impingement" mean in this case; is it a common problem?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Vil: Impingement is really a "pinching" of structures at the top of the shoulder, the combo of wear-andtear with inflammation. It's fairly common in the general population and especially with overhead athletes. I think they're being hopeful because it doesn't appear to be a serious problem (at least not now).

Shawn (MO )

Any Berkman updates?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Shawn: Doing some hitting. They hope to have him back when eligible.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

OK gang. Time for me to run. Thanks so much for joining me here. See you back next Friday!