Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 4, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:11 PM)

Sorry folks, there was an alarm in the building and we were required to vacate. Turns out it was only a drill. Thank goodness. And now, I am here for you. Off we go.

Sammy (New Hampshire)

Breaking news -- ACab on DL with "right quad strain" according to Indians Twitter. He heard a "pop" last night. Best guess on return date?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Sammy: Yes, just saw the DL placement. He's been dealing with the injury for a while. Now, it's clearly worse and whenever a player reports hearing a pop, you worry about it being more substantial. No idea right now about time out. He was scheduled for an MRI. Presume it to be a Grade 2 injury, lots of variety on time. PLan on several weeks (think Stanton and his hamstring).

Rob (State College)

Starphania - proud to say my son is becoming a second generation Jayhawk this fall! Would you start HanRam tonight if he is activated? And what's your take on whether Beltre will have to sit long? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Rob: Rock Chalk!! I was totally fine with starting Hanley after the thumb. Not so sure about starting immediately post-hamstring. I know the Dodgers are very concerned about all these hamstrings and would not bring Hanley back unless they'd tested him to the point where the only thing left is to return him to games. But I want to wait a week.

Mike (STL)

What is Victorino's setback? Is Weurth a better option since he is coming back tonight?

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Mike: Not sure about the details of Victorino. Think it's just the up and down nature of back problems and they're not convinced he's out of the woods. I would go with Werth.

Mike (Iowa City)

With Josh Johnson coming off the DL and starting tonight, do you think his early season struggles were arm related or just normal early season slow start?

Stephania Bell
  (3:21 PM)

Mike: I don't think his struggles were entirely arm related. I think that popped up just before he went on the DL. He acknowledged having some command issues and was working on some mechanics adjustments heading into the season. It just caught me by surprise since he managed to have such a strong spring training. Not sure what to expect going forward. I still am not overly concerned about injury - I just like the program he's been on too much - but do think he's not yet found his groove, more from a pitcher standpoint.

Josh (Chicago)

Clarification: Is Hanley being activated today?

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Josh: DOdgers said last week today would be the soonest. Has not been decided.

Daven (Bawston)

Huge fan SB.... any word on Stras making a start this week?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Daven: Thank you! Unfortunately we won't know more until tomorrow because the plan was for him to throw Weds. I have to think he will miss this next start. Too risky. But maybe the thinking is to allow him to see how he feels when he actually tries to throw. Easier to convince a player to sit out if he sees for himself he's not ready.

Dylan (LA, CA)

Any new updates on A-Rod? We heard a lot when he first started rehabbing but not much since.

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Dylan: The Yankees really ahven't shared much with us. I think as he gets toward rehab games we'll hear more and expect that happens later this month.

Fish (Pittsburgh)

I read your blog regarding Reyes. I recently traded JRoll and Bailey for him in hopes he will turn things around for me in the SB department. I was hoping for a June return but it sounds more like July. Over you concerned of a risk of reinjury or the ankle causing something else to flair up?

Stephania Bell
  (3:26 PM)

Fish: After a severe ankle sprain, it is always harder for guys to get back to the high level stuff than they expect. He only just started running and admitted to being apprehensive about that. Totally justified but keep in mind, that's just straight line running, when you can look at the ground. Increase the level of difficulty to unanticipated reactions, any direction, sharp corners and slides (how he got hurt) and it always takes longer. That's why I think July. Less chance of re-injury if he gets TRULY healthy before returning.

rob (myrtle beach)

Hey Steph...just dropped Kemp..good play? And what about Kinsler?Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Rob: I actually still believe in Kemp for the second half. I just do. Could be wrong but I think it's more a function of reps post-shoulder surgery and getting over those last hurdles than "injury" per se. And I'm not worried about the hamstring.

Manny (Chicago)

Who do you have more faith rest of the season Reyes or Granderson?

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Manny: Easy. Granderson. The nature of his injuries not nearly as uncertain as Reyes'...

Mike (STL)

Ellsbury is not in the lineup again tonight. Is a DL stint coming?

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Mike: I don't think so. THere were wide reports that he was doing so much better. Maybe they wanted just one more day. Unless there was some sort of setback and I havent' heard that yet.

Kim (Toronto)

Any concern with Aaron Hill and his slow recovery?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

Kim: Definitely. He's essentially going to try to play with a nonunion fracture. He might be able to do so but we know he'll be playing with an injury that is unresolved. Meaning it could worsen anytime. Likely will need surgery - either offseason or if unable to play through it now, then sooner.

Alex (Mass)

Hey Stephanie, Do you think Strasburg might start this week though? mabye saturday? Should i go with Travis wood against Pittsburg instead? thank you

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Alex: Not comfortable predicting that until he throws tomorrow. Everything will be predicated on how that goes.

LittleRon (WV)

How soon should we expect Beachy and what will his role likely be once activated?...Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

LittleRon: Probably mid-late June. Has a few rehab starts left. So have to assume nothing crops up between now and then. I think he'll get his spot in the rotation once they deem him ready. Need to plan on what we typically see with guys post-TJ. Some good outings, some not so much. Velocity generally good, may struggle with command at times.

Mike (NJ)

Any update on Utley?

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

Mike: Nothing new. They just slowed him given his lingering soreness. No swinging of the bat yet.

Phil (Madison)

Daniel Hudson looks on track to return June 15 - are you expecting the standard TJS return, with some control issues for the first couple months while he regains a feel for his stuff?

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Phil: Yes. Think that's reasonable. Will be interesting to see what the D-Backs do with him, they have hinted at using him for shorter outings (couple of innings) to let him stretch out a bit more before increasing his role.

Joe (Chicago)

Follow-up on Aaron Hill and need good news! If he needs surgery, is he then done for the year??

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

Joe: Depends when it happens (and ultimately what's involved). If simple pinning then could be a 6-8 week deal. But again, depends when that decision comes.

Nickle (Canada)

Hi Stephania. Any sense of how worried to be about Beltre's hamstring. It's not like the guy's never had bad legs before...

Stephania Bell
  (3:43 PM)

Nickle: You partially answered the question. Anytime a player has a history of repetitive hamstring injuries, you're more concerned. THat said, sounds like the team expects him back in this series. MRI showed mild strain and he did some running in the field today. They probably want to see how he responds to that effort and go from there. Of course, we will be watching to see that this doesn't become something bigger in the next week or two. That's the worry.

Greg [via mobile]

Do you believe carpenter will pitch this year? Worth a stash?

Stephania Bell
  (3:45 PM)

Greg: Tough one. His work ethic and motivation are admirable. His history is concerning. I'm leaning towards yes, he does pitch, because of how far he has come in the process. But he's had some setbacks along the way. And those remind us that he is not really ever going to be out of the woods when it comes to these neck/nerve issues. It is something he will have to manage around. It could certainly get to the point where he is functioning well but has to guard against flare-ups, which is better than how it looked in the spring, but the worries will not be behind him. Not sure (unless I had space to kill) that I'd stash him.


Estimate as to when you think Stanton and Kinsler will be back?

Stephania Bell
  (3:48 PM)

MW: Stanton very hard to read given the conflicting bits of info out of Miami. I think by and large he is recovering. But he had a significant hamstring injury and those are much trickier to recover from than people realize. They have to go slowly with him and I think he's at least another 2-3 weeks away. Kinsler will be largely pain-guided; that's how all stress reactions/fractures are treated. Right now it's wait and see. I think the idea it will be only two more weeks is optimistic. I'm guessing it's another 3-4. Guessing, mind you. But based on how these things tend to respond.

Show what you got Rajai (Toronto)

He's back - productive & stealing bases from the get go?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

I think stealing bases no problem. Production at the plate? Hmmm.

J (Boston)

Corey Hart update?

Stephania Bell
  (3:51 PM)

J: Seems like a rehab assignment keeps getting pushed back, not necessarily because of a setback but they're just taking it slowly. He's doing some running, which is a good sign, but I don't get the impression they're ready to let him go all out, 100%. Hard to count on when there's so much uncertainty. At this rate we might not see him until late June/early July.

Norman (Boulder)

How worried should I be about Colby (Lewis)'s Cheese? Doesn't seem like a good sign if someone starts throwing rehab games and then stops throwing them...

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Norman: Yes, very astute observation. Seriously, he was shut down because of problems near his elbow (triceps tendinitis is what was reported originally). Just had a PRP injection which means no throwing at all for at least a few weeks (usually 2-3). This is a guy coming off flexor tendon repair, then with other issues around the elbow. Definitely concerned. No obvious timetable.

Drew (Tarzana)

What do you think about Middlebrooks?

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Drew: Like him. Looks like he'll be back on the 8th.

Mike (Boston)

Hi! Just go out of a meeting and hoping to squeeze in a question. I have both Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Phillips active this week -- chances either play? If so, when? Many thanks :)

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Mike: You're in! Sounds like Bochy was leaving it open for Sandoval to play Tuesday although he didn't sound confident. The problem here is we don't really know what he's dealing with making it hard to project. Suppose he could play any day but you'd have to monitor it closely. As for Phillips, it always sounded like he'd miss 3-4 days, then be back. So I expect he'll be back later this week. Not a huge concern, lucky was just a bruise.

Matt (FL)

Haven't heard anything about Matt Harrison in a while. He still alive and kicking?

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Matt: Good news is he's alive. But he's so fresh off back surgery there's a long way to go before he returns. Probably another two months so...check back later.

jay (st louis)

we all need saves. any update on betancourt?

Stephania Bell
  (3:59 PM)

Jay: Too soon. Probably won't know much until he's a week or so into it.

Mike (Minneapolis)

Do you expect Huston Street to be back after his 15 day stint?

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Mike: He made it sound like that would be the case. He ahs a good comparison with the injury from last year and he said this was minor. It actually sounded like the DL move was proactive to avoid a repeat of last year.

Mike (Minneapolis)

Why do you think Austin Jackson's been so slow to return? Any idea when he'll most likely be back and whether we can still count on him for 10-15 SBs?

Stephania Bell
  (4:02 PM)

Mike: DOn't think it's anything sinister. Just proof that you can't underestimate even the "mild" hamstrings. And given his value in getting around the bases, everyone wants to insure - to the extent possible - that he doesn't suffer a setback that turns into a 6 week issue. So, patience should pay off. Think he could be back within a week to ten days or so.

Stephania Bell
  (4:03 PM)

OK gang. Thanks so much for joining me here this afternoon. Again, apologies for the fire alarm delay. See you here next week!!