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July 6, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Happy Friday everyone! Some good news, some less good news when it comes to injuries...what's on your mind?

Bill (Boston)

Happy Friday Stephania! Should we be concerned with Mike Stanton's knee injury? I read he may need surgery at some point, are you concerned he won't make it through the season? I am thinking about selling him and letting someone else worry about him ROS...

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Bill: Why thank you! I think there's cause for some concern...but not worth major panic. He has a loose body in the knee, debris that will need to get removed at some point. The question is whether that's now or later. He is going to try to test the knee pre-game today. If it's enough trouble that he can't play, then he may consider surgery during ASB. Not likely a lengthy recovery but still a few weeks. If he waits, then there's a decent chance he's up and down over the season. Depends who else you have - might be good trade bait.

Matt (Philly)

Stephania, Howard is coming back tonight...have you had the chance to watch him at all? How does he look and is he driving the ball? He seems to be still running with a limp...Phils taking a big risk rushing him back now?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Matt: This is the burning question. I haven't seen him yet. I'm surprised at his early activation as I thought they'd use more rehab time. Tonight would be first back-to-back game, also only played nine innings for first time last night. Won't have the same leg likely until next year but he's been hitting the ball well and seems like they want the bat back. He won't play every day initially. Will be interesting to see how sore he gets, etc. Not nec a huge risk but whether he can consistently perform, develops any soreness/stiffness issues will be the concern.

Sandy (MD)

Hi Stephania! Any chance the Sox activate Ellsbury early? When would you expect to see him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Sandy: I don't know that I see it being dramatically early. He's doing well in rehab but it won't happen until after the ASB. Seems he could be back shortly afterward though if he continues well. Good sign is he's also playing the field.

Mike (Los Gatos)

Hey Stephania, Could Pedroia going on the DL be a blessing in disguise? He hadn't been playing at his usual level, but will the time off heal his thumb enough to get him back to normal?Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Hi Mike - in a town not far from where I grew up...I think Pedroia has clearly not been himself in the last month and a half. Even after missing the handful of games in early June he was not hitting like himself, had to miss another game mid-month but all of it was around hitting. Now he injured himself diving and apparently it affected another part of his thumb (on the back side - but no specifics given). Either way, he is being forced to sit. Hopefully we can better project once we know more about what the latest injury is (to go along with the partial muscle tear he already had).

Jon A (Grimesland, NC)

What's your take on Dan Haren's injury? Should should rest get him back to his excellence of previous seasons?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Jon A: That's the hope. Doesn't sound especially serious, calling it "stiffness" but Haren acknowledged it's been a problem since the spring and is affecting his performance and his team, so he spoke up. We don't have a ton of info but a guy who has been so healthy for his entire career provides, in general, a much better outlook.

Ken (KC)

Good morning Stephania, two part question: is it true your favorite dog is a retired, brindle greyhound? And what is the track record for recovery from te nerve surgery Chris Carpenter will be undergoing, is there concern that given his age that the recovery may be greater? Thanks, wish you could be out for the ASG!

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Hi Ken: Why yes! That is true...And I wish I could be out for the ASG too. Dying to get back to KC for a visit. As far as Carpenter, no doubt this is a big surgery and a long recovery (typically 6+ months) which factored into him eventually deciding he wanted to just go under the knife now to try and be ready for spring. There are risks because of the complexity, you're dealing with nerves and to me, beyond his age, is the fact that he's had cervical disc problems as well. Those factors make it hard to project any outcome with certainty and neither Carpenter nor his surgeon are willing to do that either. Hope the best for him; he's been through a lot.

Todd (Philly)

Can Lance Berkman really be ready to play this early or do you think he would benefit from more rest?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Todd: I think his projection of immediately post-ASB is a little optimistic. But we'll see how he moves through baseball activities this week. He's been doing some light running and fielding. My concern with guys after these types of procedures is that they really have adequate strength back in the muscles around the knees to help protect them going forward. Esp a buy like Berkman with an extensive history of knee problems on both sides, not to mention a calf strain in the early part of the season. I would be cautious with him when he first comes back to see how he responds.

Jared (Waco)

Continued tightness in the elbow with no known cause for Shaun Marcum. What could be going on?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Jared: Yep, he's had this lingering soreness but it's just speculation from here. Lots of things that can make the elbow stiff and sore. Doesn't sound like the kind of thing that makes you think catastrophic injury (and we know he had TJ surgery not too long ago) but it still needs to be respected and he can't just push through it. Playing catch is the most he's done. Just like the Brewers, sort of hanging out, watching to see how he does.

Evan (The U)

Hey Stephania, with the Phillies doing so poorly I'm worried they will shut down Vance Worley due to the bone chips in his elbow that will require offseason surgery. Can you see this happening?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Evan: Don't think so, at least not for precautionary reasons. Would really come down (I think) to how he is able to function and whether the pain is manageable. So for now, he continues to pitch.

Dave (Denver)

Is Bonafacio still on track to return July 13 and what do you expect from him going forward?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Dave: He started his rehab asisgnment, only played a few innings and didn't get a hit, but hey, it's a start. Really need to see how he does across the length of the assignment before we can project how he'll do, but often a little bit of a struggle at the plate initially after thumb surgery. Won't expect it to hurt his steals, although suspect he won't be diving headfirst out of the gate.

Jeff (Portland, ME)

Happy Friday, Stephania! Can we get the latest on Kemp and Tulo? Sounds like Kemp should be back shortly after AS break. Although haven't heard much on Tulo's progress. Can you shed any light? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Hi Jeff: Kemp has been doing well on his rehab asisgnment, no reported issues with the hamstring. But it's impossible to reproduce every situation to test them. Still, the increased number of games he'll play in advance of returning this time will make the Dodgers feel better before they put him back in the lineup, which I believe will be 7/13. And as far as Tulo, we haven't heard much but remember it's roughly a 6-8 week recovery. We'll hear more once he's cleared to begin baseball activities.

rick (michigan)

longoria, longoria, longoria?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Rick: nothing, nothing, nothing...there is no timetable. We know he was cleared to increase baseball activities but given the seriousness of the original injury and how quickly he suffered a setback the last time he started a rehab assignment, they're not going to send him out on one again that quickly. Literally a day by day thing with him.

DA (DFW)

Middlebrooks update? Will he be in the lineup tonight or tomorrow?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

DA: He's hoping to play Friday but nothing official out yet.

Grant (At work, baby at home)

I read Morrow is up to 150 feet long toss. Does this bump his timetable closer? My kid and I are screaming in excitement!

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Grant: At least you're both screaming...although I'd urge you to contain the excitement a bit. Apparently Morrow still feels something when he sneezes, meaning he's not out of the woods when it comes to the oblique. He'll need to throw downhill, then a rehab assignment...looking like he'll be out the typical 34+ days or thereabouts

Isaac (St Louis)

I'm only 2 months old so my dad is writing this for me. Is it a stretch to keep Dee Gordon in a DL slot if he's going to be out for almost 2 months? Is that including rehab assignments? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Isaac: You have very advanced questions for a little guy. Yes, Dee Gordon will be out for almost as long as you are old. There's a range...if the healing looks good after a few weeks then light baseball activities added. If it feels ok, then move towards rehab. Most hover around 6 weeks. Guess it depends what you need and how your DL slot looks. I'd probably look for help elsewhere.

Nick (Baltimore)

How long until the shot the Nats gave Zimmerman wears off? Will they just keep giving them to him until the offseason or is there a limit?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Nick: We actually talked at length about him on the podcast because many curious about exactly that, how many shots? Several variables go into making the decision but typically they will only do a few (like 2 or 3) in the same area within a year. THere are negative effects from cortisone, since it's a steroid, so they limit the exposure. But the hope is that it works to help with the inflammation and then player clears a hurdle and actually stays better.

Max (Ga)

I don't have any kids but I'd like to know about Victor Martinez

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Max: Those without kids also totally welcome here...V-Mart had a follow-up MRI to evaluate the condition of his post-microfracture knee and while it sounds like he's continuing to progress, there's no plan for him to be available until mid to late September. And that's not guaranteed.

frank the tank (Toronto)

Any chance Crawford is back immediately following AS and will his playing time be limited? Should we expect Tampa Carl?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Frank: I think they're looking for him to be back right after ASB. No way to know. If he was just coming off recent wrist surgery, I'd be more concerned. But the wrist got extra rest while they allowed the elbow to settle. The problem is that he's been away from routine game playing for so long. Maybe some rustiness although lately he's been hitting the ball well and says he feels like he's seeing it better, getting his timing back. I think everyone wants to see Tampa Carl, including Carl.

Adam (San Fran)

Any new developments with Andrew Bailey? I read he was throwing from 150 feet not too long ago, but haven't heard anything since.

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Adam: Yes, did that last week. Think he and his wife had a baby though so may be why there hasn't been much to report on from a baseball perspective. Still needs to get through the mound throwing, etc and now we don't know what his role will be exactly when he does come back. Still a lot of unanswered questions.

Ravi Motha (London England)

What is the status and projections on Brett Gardener, I know they yankees have been cautious but are they still targeting a return sometime after the all star break?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Think he's supposed to hit from a tee today. No one making any specific projections any more because every time he's tried to resume hitting, it has proven to be a problem for his elbow. Sounds like everyone hopes it's sometime in July bit all depends how he responds to the hitting.

josh (DC)

ted lilly prediction please thanks steph

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

josh: not much to say. He started playing catch but was transferred to 60-day DL recently, not eligible to return until late July. Soonest.

STEVE (IND)

Happy Halladay(s) Soon?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Steve: If he continues doing well. Bullpen expected Saturday, then if that's uneventful, short rehab assignment and they'll go with how he feels. Makes it sound like he's not too far removed.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to exit the chat room. Really appreciate you stopping by and all the awesome questions. Have a great - and healthy - weekend!