Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell
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Stephania Bell (11:03 AM)
Good morning Sports Nation: Welcome to my new time for the injury chat. We changed the date based on a reader request to have the blog and chat on different days - so see? We do pay attention to the feedback. Great idea - and here we are....
Hi Stephania. Should I be reading into John Smoltz' rehab setback or can I still expect him to do well once he returns to the show? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:05 AM)
Marissa: No, I don't think there is anything to read into here - the Red Sox just wanted to pull back a little bit to make absolutely sure that once they get him in the mix, he's here to stay. They're being understandably cautious but I'm not worried at this point.
I'm worried about Stephen Drew. When he first got injured they thought he would just be out a day or two. Then he went on the DL. Now he has been out for a while, and I'm not hearing anything. Will he be back soon?
Stephania Bell (11:07 AM)
Isaac: You and many others are worried about Drew. Unfortunately, as is often the case with hamstring injuries, he tried to come back and push it, it flared up and he ended up on the DL. As a result, they have made him go much slower with the rehab. He ran on a treadmill late last week and is reportedly making progress, but at this point it is still unclear whether he will be able to come off the DL when eligible. Once he starts doing more baseball activity we should get a better idea.
Why is Youk still not playing?
Stephania Bell (11:10 AM)
Howie: Well, I think they've been taking it day-to-day and seeing how his symptoms behaved, trying to avoid a DL trip perhaps, but if it doesn't imrprove soon, that may be where he's headed. It's interesting b/c it's been called an oblique issue but then it's also been called a sore side. The reason it matters is that if it was definitively an oblique and they could pinpoint the exact location of the injury, they could perhaps inject it to help him along. Sounds like it's hard to pinpoint which can mean it's less serious, but also may be harder to specifically treat. Just keep checking the daily updates for now.
Nick (Princeton, NJ)
Hi Stephania, what have you heard recently about John Lackey? Sounds like he's progressing well...but I believe in past chats you've said you're concerned about him this year, even when he comes off the DL. Could you discuss his outlook and whether he'll return like he did last year? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:13 AM)
Hi Nick from one of my favorite towns: Lackey is progressing well. He had a rehab start this week where he threw 4.2 strong innings - only 1 hit, 1 walk. He will have another rehab start this weekend, if all goes well, he could be back in the lineup next week. On the plus side, he's had a fairly unremarkable rehab (no real setbacks) and his stuff looks good right now. On the minus side, what concerns me, is the cumulative effect of all of his work the last seven years, and him starting off last year with similar symptoms. In other words, I think he comes back strong - I'm more concerned about long-term. Will he hold up for the rest of the season? That's where I think there's some risk.
Aaron (Ann Arbor, MI)
Stephania, How concerned should I be about R. Braun's back? I recently pulled off a trade acquiring both R. Braun and P. Fielder for C. Pena and M. Kemp and I'm hoping this wasn't a mistake? Seems like it may give Braun trouble all year.
Stephania Bell (11:15 AM)
Aaron, Aaron: Did you read my pre-season bit on Braun? I noted him as an injury risk for the exact reason you mentioned. I'm worried that this can give him trouble all year. Last year he ended the season with this issue. After an offseason of rest, it still bothered him. It hurts when he swings the bat. Hmmm - hard to get around that. He has been determined to try to play through this, which is admirable, but it's obviously not something that healed, and it's probably going to be an on-again, off-again sutation throughout the season. Sorry....
What's the latest on Ervin Santana?
Stephania Bell (11:18 AM)
Al: Santana is in the same category as Lackey. Almost identical timetable - should return to the rotation late next week. He too comes with some risk, we know he had a sprained medial collateral ligament, which can heal, and he hopes that it has, but it still means that tissue was damaged and it makes me more concerned in the long haul. So far he looks good, if he can get his pitch count up without problem , he should start strong. The question will be whether that holds up to regular outings.
Jason (Parker, CO)
Good morning Stephania. Do you think Brian McCann is ready to step in and be successful tonight? Should I hang on to my third catcher for a while just in case? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Jason: I think he will step in and be successful. Unlike players with a heaking strain or sprain, he just needed to find something that allowed him to see. Apparently these sports glasses are working well for him. It sounds like he may still need an offseason procedure but he seems to think he's found the solution to get him through the year.
Ms. Bell, thank you for the knowledge! As a Delgado owner, should I worry that the lingering hip is sapping his power? With an injury to such a core area, shouldn't I be worried that he will become - gulp - old?
Stephania Bell (11:22 AM)
Hi Tim: Thanks for coming. You know, the thing about Delgado is that this hip problem is not new. I suspect that he has some arthritis in his hip, and that's why it becomes stiff and painful and when it acts up, it limits him. But there's noquick fix. It looks like his intent is to play through it with the team trying to manage his symptoms when they act up as best they can. It probably means less consistency from him at the plate depending how the hip is feeling, but it appears he will press through it.
Tim (Hatfield, PA)
Hi Steph (can I call you 'Steph'?)...any thoughts on Roy Oswalt and his finger? Just something that'll nag him for a couple weeks or a reason to be concerned? The guy is a warrior...
Stephania Bell (11:25 AM)
Tim: You may call me Steph. Oswalt has a bone bruise which is obviously painful and early on it would not allow him to throw breaking balls. Now he was supposed to throw from flat ground yesterday and I have not heard how that went. But it sounds as if he was hopeful to make his next scheduled start. Yes, definitely a tough guy.
hi stephania big fan, look i have brandom morrow in my team i know that he is coming on saturday but do you see any more setbacks trough the year, Should i sell while healthy?
Stephania Bell (11:28 AM)
Hi Antonio: Well, they finally called it biceps tendinitis, and whenever there's an "itis" or inflammatory condition, you do have some concern about it coming back. That being said, a lot depends on how severe the episode was to begin with. It seemed as if Morrow really did not feel a trip to the DL was necessary but the team made it happen. THat forced rest, especially when it's not that serious, can go a long way towards preventing recurrence. So while there's no way to guarantee anything, it sounds like he should be in pretty good shape.
Girardi talking about Mariano's shoulder discomfort, any thoughs/insight? Thanks.
Stephania Bell (11:31 AM)
Paul: Well, Rivera is coming off minor offseason surgery. And whenever a pitcher's shoulder is involved, it's cause for concern. But he looked great in the spring - and there was no real cause for concern. WHat I'm hearing RIvera say is that he doesn't feel like the shoulder is 100% in terms of strength. The worry is if as a pticher the strength isn't there, you try to compensate in other ways...that's what can lead to a more significant injury if it keeps happening. I don't think he's injured per se, just not up to his usual delivery - and he's paying for it in giving up the home runs. I don't think he'll go on the DL (but who knows with the way the Yankees are stocking the DL these days), but he may be given a few games rest. Or they may let him continue to try to work through it.
Reports are that Wang is progressing nicely in the minors - your thoughts on his situation?
Stephania Bell (11:35 AM)
Nick: I think the additional strengthening has done him some good. Also, when a guy is struggling like that and can't seem to explain it, it does a lot for him mentally when someone takes him through a battery of tests and finds that there are strength deficits b/c it helps explain the problem. His foot injury was very significant, and it's often other muscle groups in the chain, removed from the injury (in his case, his hip muscles) that can suffer as a result of all the down time, deconditioning, etc. As you know a pitcher's delivery is so finess oriented, one small deficit can translate into terrible performance. He has been throwing well in rehab and I think you will see an improved Wang when he returns.
Stefan (Munich, Germany)
Hi Stephania, I have a hard time finding a time-table on Edwin Encarnacion's injury. Could you give us an idea when we can count him to come back? Is he worth holding on to? Thanks a lot!
Stephania Bell (11:38 AM)
Hi Stefan: Thanks for traveling to the chat! Encarnacion was scheduled to have his cast removed Weds and then was to get a removable splint. It takes quite a while to get range of motion and strength back after that so don't expect him for a few weeks. And beware as hitters often struggle to regain their comfort (which translates into power) with their grip following a wrist injury. If you can afford to keep him knowing you might not get production until around All-Star Break, then he's worth keeping.
Hi Stephania, will Webb be the same after this injury?
Stephania Bell (11:44 AM)
Mike: Lots of questions about Webb, but your question really gets to the heart of what everyone wants to know. If only I could see into the future. I have said from the beginning that I was not especially worried about Webb, but have then been surprised by his slowness to recover and his most recent setback. The setback he had in late April pushed his return back at least a month, and he has made it clear that he's not rushing to get back. Smart on his part in that he doesn't want to get back and have it flare up again or perform inconsistently. But it remains puzzking as there has been no significant structural issue with his shoulder, just some persistent inflammation. My suspicion is that he comes back strong. He wants to prove that he has the goods given that his contract extension did not go through before this year.
As a HUGE Yankee fan I would like professional info on AROD. Is his injury going to affect his fielding and stealing abilitys? How about his chances of reinjury?
Stephania Bell (11:48 AM)
Billy: Let's put it this way. His return timetable is unprecedented - making it really hard to project how he'll do. So far he's done enough to convince everyone (maybe including himself) that he can do everything necessary to play. He has now even slid in a game situation. But of course he can't prepare for EVERY scenario. Since I haven't been able to watch him, I can't comment on the things I would look for as a PT. Is he REALLY running at full speed? Is he willing to dive to make a play? Or slide and crash into someone with that lead leg at home plate? I sure would not want any worries in my player's head b/c that can be a distractor in a game situation. His fitness and athleticism make it so that he has been able to speed through his rehab. But I still need to see him perform to be convinced. I think re-injury chances a re low except for the high-speed collision scenario - that one is of some concern.
Hi Stephania, what do you think about the Chris Carpenter injury? The doctors are hopeful and believe he's recovering nicely, but do you think he'll be able to pitch a significant number of innings for the Cards this year?
Stephania Bell (11:50 AM)
Joe: I think so. The key for him is making sure the oblique is 100% recovered. They don't want him compensating at all for the trunk which could place undue stress on his throwing arm. Given his history I'm confident that they'll proceed accordingly and so they may give him a little extra time before he returns, but that's a good thing.
Ian (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
What are your thoughts on Josh Hamilton coming back next week, you worried about his ability to bounce back at all?
Stephania Bell (11:53 AM)
Ian: If his pain is gone, I'm not worried. His injury, as the result of a collision at the wall, was largely due to swelling, inflammation and he needed the down time b/c the ribs were so painful. Once the pain subsides, he can perform. He hit soft toss yesterday and is scheduled to face live pitching today I believe. Hopefully a minor league game over the weekend and if all goes well, return next Tuesday. I don't see it having a lingering effect IF he is really pain-free.
Arian (Gainesville, Fl)
What are you thoughts on Vlad this year? Is he done for?
Stephania Bell (11:55 AM)
Arian: Oh no! He's doing well actually. He's been doing running drills for a while, was examined Weds and was cleared to take swings and hit off a tee. The torn pec was always most problematic when he threw hard, so throwing will be the last thing he resumes and that will probably be slower. Doesn't mean they couldn't bring him back to DH within a couple weeks, even if the fielding takes a little longer.
Arthur (Bayonne, NJ)
Xavier Nady: can you explain what's going on with his elbow, and how he was able to avoid surgery. Will he be able to swing a bat effectivley upon his return?
Stephania Bell (11:58 AM)
Arthur: Based on the reports, he has a partial tear of the reconstructed ligament - not a complete tear, so a portion is intact. Depending on the size and location, the thought might be that this could heal on its own. He already has a lot of scar tissue in the area since he had a previous Tommy John, they may be hoping that this scars over and blends with the previous scar. Since he is not a pitcher, the chances of him being able to do what ne needs to are better b/c the forces on his arm aren't as great - but it's a big wait and see. He just has to progress through the steps of rehab and see how it responds. No guarantees, but at least it offers him the potential of being able to return this season - important for a guy with a one year contract.
Any concern over Derrek Lee's injury? Should I be prepared for a DL stint, or being without him for a while? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
Anthony: Well, there's concern in that we know he has a bulging disc in his neck -so it becomes a matter of management as opposed to "healing". In other words, a lot depends on how he feels. You can have a disc bulge and be totally symptom-free so the presence of one doesn't prevent you from playing. But if there is inflammation and irritation there, then it becomes harder to move, and if it affects a nerve, then the arm can become involved. So far he seems to be responding to a few days rest and it sounds like they hope to have him back this weekend, but this could get worse again and force a DL stint. You should have backup ready.
Stephania Bell (12:03 PM)
OK everyone - I have to go. Thanks so much for coming. I LOVE the questions you bring every week. Please check back in next Friday and we'll do it again. Have a great weekend!!