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July 25, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:03 PM)

Well, hello again! Vacation was wonderful but I see there have been no shortage of injuries in the meantime. With that, here we go...

joseph (ny)

whats the deal with cabrera? is he going on the dl?

Stephania Bell
  (3:06 PM)

Joseph: So far, no definitive answer. They've called him day to day and so far, each day (including today), he's out. The reports yesterday were that he felt better. So it would seem that the team expects him back sometime soon.

Mari IL [via mobile]

What is the latest on RG3 is he really going to be ready for the opener

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Mari: Signs are certainly pointing in that direction. He has been cleared to participate in practice but will not likely see any preseason action (or extremely limited at best). If there are no setbacks, then he is likely to begin on time.

nick (Chicago)

does granderson's pinkie finger injury affect his swing? Or is it completely healed and we just have to worry about him getting his timing back.

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Nick: I think initially when he wasn't able to properly grip the bat that was a big concern. Now that he is swinging and approaching a rehab assignment, that is less of a concern and it's a matter of getting him back in a regular grrove of hitting - as he called it he's on spring training schedule now.

Mike (SF,CA)

Beachy. Start immediately or wait and see? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (3:13 PM)

Mike: Lots of Beachy questions. Here's the thing. There's always the expectation of inconsistency for a guy coming fresh off TJ surgery. They can start out performing well and then drop off, not because they're hurt but because they're finding their way back. Keep in mind Beachy has had limited innings. 3, 4, 5 and 6 in his 4 rehab starts. So he may not go really deep into games at first and you don't know how well he'll perform against major leaguers. In other words, wait and see.

Chris (Minneapolis)

What is the extent of Grilli's injury? Seems like they are being pretty quiet about it in general. Is Melancon the closer for the majority of the fantasy season from your perspective?

Stephania Bell
  (3:15 PM)

Chris: I think they're cautiously quiet. And while we've heard that he was expected to undergo firther evaluation, we haven't heard of any definitive diagnosis beyond the forearm strain. Grilli had TJ surgery in his past, he did say the pain was below the elbow so it may just be muscular. But they will rest him in any case for a few days and see how he responds. Right now he and the team give the impression of a short term absence (meaning he would get the closer job back).

Dan (Vermont)

How's Jason Vargas progressing? is it just a matter of getting arm strength back - anything else about recovering from the blood clot that will make the rehab especially challenging? Thanks for chatting!

Stephania Bell
  (3:19 PM)

Dan: Apparently he's been progressing pretty well. He has been cleared to throw from a mound, the next phase of his throwing program. If that goes well, then he goes to a rehab start so he may not be that far off from a return. The important thing is no residual symptoms (typically tingling/coldness into arm/hand)with every phase of his return.

Kelly (Lawton, OK)

Matt Kemp is on the DL again. Is he injury prone or does he have serious ongoing health issues?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Kelly: I really would not call him injury prone given that prior to last year he really had not had much of an injury history. (Just one DL stint before last year.) This however has been a series of unfortunate events. The ankle was just one more thing (some questioning his decision making in that instant which led to the injury), the hamstring came out of nowhere and the shoulder - we expected - would be problematic for the first half of the season. He really has never been able to get on track and sometimes that will just amplify the other issues. And you certainly don't want him compensating. So, the team is wise to hold him out until he's 100%.

Tako (Kaloma, HI)

In theory, can a pitcher come back from two TJ surgeries?

Stephania Bell
  (3:24 PM)

Tako: Actually, more than in theory! It's not common but some have done it. Capuano with the Dodgers; Soria, now with the Rangers and there have been others. So yes, the statistics drop off and there isn't a huge sample size but it can be done.

Jeff (Portland ME)

I've have both Cueto and Cobb filling up my DL spots. Who do you think returns first? I know Cobb had a minor setback with a blister.

Stephania Bell
  (3:27 PM)

Jeff: Timetable may be close. Hard to predict b/c each guy has a number of hurdles. Cobb was only a few pitches into his rehab start when he had to leave because of the blister. We don't know how long that will keep him off the mound (he hopes to try again late this week) but then how much time does he need for rehab starts? I'm guessing you want a few under his belt after him being completely removed from throwing for such an extended period, not to mention the type of injury he had. Cueto has not started throwing yet and everyone has said they will bring him back more slowly...and that this may not disappear entirely this season. Think the timetable is pretty close.

AC (Greenley, OR)

Do you think Albert Pujols will ever be 100% healthy again?

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

AC: Simply? No. Think the wear and tear of all the years he played - and played through things - along with normal aging make it tough to see him as the same player. Think it may be small things with increasing frequency but think he is likely to be nagged by injuries going forward.

Dan (work)

Clay Buccholz' return keeps getting pushed back. Now they say end of August. Do you think he'll return then? Or is this a lost season

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Dan: Think they hope he can but no one knows for sure. I'm concerned that this will be an ongoing intermittent problem, enough to keep him from regaining the form he had in the first half of the year.

CC (Atlanta)

Thoughts on Hudson's future after last night? Obviously he's old, but I see no reason why he can't come back from a broken bone. Certainly better than a ligament/achilles injury, right?

Stephania Bell
  (3:32 PM)

CC: There are several things we don't know. How bad was the break, was it clean or multiple pieces and where exactly was it fractured? WHat other damage was there (i.e. soft tissue, etc)? Those answers can impact the overall healing process. Yes, I expect barring something unusual that he can come back. But if you look at Jeter as an example, fractures are not always easy. Once the bone heals it tends to heal very well but there can be associated joint problems, soft tissue limitations, weaknesses, etc that can persist after this type of injury.

Pepe (Boston)

Stephania you're the best! What do you think about Roy Halladay's prospects of coming back and being effective?

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Pepe: Why thank you. I always thought Halladay's most realistic return date if all went well was September. I still think that's most likely but he wants to return in August and he just might do it. His rehab has gone well and he threw his first bullpen on Sunday. He also says his arm feels better than it did even in the offseason. While all that is encouraging, it's different when you get to rehab games. I would still keep my eye on September (and yes, think he can be effective) but he might beat that date.

William (Boston)

Can you give me any insight on Mike Napoli's long term health status? The Red Sox nixed a longer term contract with him in the off season over these concerns.

Stephania Bell
  (3:37 PM)

William: I think there's every reason to think his long-term outlook is good! The medications he's on and the training program he underwent after diagnosis has kept the disease from progressing. It's possible that the bone health could actually improve making his long-term outlook even better. Functionally, we can see that his performance has been outstanding. Yes, Red Sox did nix the original deal and that was because of the diagnosis. But the one year deal may end up working in Napoli's favor, now that he has shown he has been able to play and perform consistently.

Jon (Minneapolis)

Is Brandon Morrow dropable now? Heard he has an entrapped radial nerve...

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Jon: I would say so. Especially since the Blue Jays are acknowledging that he might be done for the season. Certainly sounds like no one expects him back this year and I'd be surprised if that changes.

@TheMaxamuz (USA)

Lucas Duda still sidelined. ETA and Progress?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Duda just began his rehab assignment Weds and it looks like they'll have him play a few rehab games then move him on up.

Larper (Ye Ol' Palace)

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the brittlest of them all?" Darren McFadden or Demarco Murray? This was spoken with a rum induced old english accent fair maiden Bell.

Stephania Bell
  (3:44 PM)

I'll give you bonus points for creativity. ANd I'd have to go with McFadden. More years in the league, never a full season.

Oscar (San Diego)

The Dodgers just brought Ted Lilly back from the DL. Do you think he can be a starter again or should he be relegated to long relief?

Stephania Bell
  (3:47 PM)

Oscar: Don't think they know yet. This DL stint was a long one related to a disc issue in his neck, not exactly the type of thing we can be confident is entirely in his rearview mirror. I think now the Dodgers need to see how he holds up as they utilize him in these early apperances out of the bullpen. If that goes well, perhaps they consider him differently but don't think it's something to count on at this point.

Don (Chino Hills, CA)

Do some people really have higher thresholds of pain than others? Is Kobe Bryant one of those people?

Stephania Bell
  (3:49 PM)

Don: Yes, pain tolerance seems to be highly variable. Don't know about Kobe specifically but he certainly exhibits some of the mental toughness aspects that would hint at him having a higher threshold.

Brian (Seattle)

Percy Harvin - although we still don't know much, what would a recovery process and timeline look for a player with a torn hip labrum?

Stephania Bell
  (3:52 PM)

Brian: Yes, info is limited and reports are that he will seek a second opinion early next week. Wide variety of labral injuries and not all require surgery. If it is surgical in nature, there's still a good deal of variety between a minor debridement (cleaning up) versus a substantive repair and any resurfacing of the joint. Ranges from weeks to months. Think we need to wait to hear more.

Mike (Newton, KS)

Have you seen Yasiel Puig play? Vin Scully calls him a "wild horse". Do you think this may shorten his career due to injuries?

Stephania Bell
  (3:54 PM)

Mike: Pretty good description. It certainly could if he plays recklessly. That's one of the things we've seen with Brett Lawrie and Bryce Harper. While everyone loves the enthusiasm there's also a sense that their style may contribute to their injuries. Puig is not indestructible and at some point it will catch up with him.

will (nyc)

Miguel Montero went to see a back specialist yesterday. Any word to the extent of the injury. Playing a demanding position like catcher is this precautionary or do you see major concerns for the ROS?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Will: Too soon to say this warrants a significant cause for concern. Not unusual for guys to take a big swing and feel "something" in their back. Best thing is to immediately rest and hope it settles quickly.

John (Los Angeles)

Not a fantasy question, but "get well soon" to Eric Wedge.

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

John: Couldn't agree more and this is a great sendoff for the chat. We all wish Eric Wedge the best as he recovers.

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

As the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremonies get underway this weekend, Dr. Frank Jobe will be recognized for his contributions to the sport. He, of course, performed THE definitive procedure of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction on Tommy John. So well deserved. And a big thank you to all who joined the chat today. Here's hoping that everyone has a safe and healthy week. Next week the chat returns to Tuesday.