Fantasy injuries w/Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday morning, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to discuss all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Send your questions now and join Bell to chat Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (11:02 AM)
Good morning Sports Nation! Happy Friday! I love the Friday chats. I always get great questions - and it makes me feel that much closer to the weekend. Just returned to Bristol from CA. I'll give you one guess as to who has the better weather right now. But I can't complain...this is the central nervous system of sports. I see many fantastic questions already lined up so let's get to 'em....
Stevie (Baltimore, MD)
Good Morning Stephania, can you please let me know if Valverde is getting activated for this evening's game? Also, do you have any update on Frank Fransisco's condition? thanks.
Stephania Bell (11:05 AM)
Stevie: Well, it looks like Valverde is going to go tonight barring a surprise. He has been expected to go if he did well in his rehab outings this week - which he did - so I expect him to be out there tonight. As far as Francisco it's a little muddier. He felt discomfort in his shoulder and thought he may have exited the DL too soon. No one has officially said it - but he may be going back on the list...
Phil (Grand Rapids)
Steph - what is the latest on Aramis Ramirez? I heard he has started 'baseball activitives,' and is ahead of schedule. Do you think he makes an impact when he returns?
Stephania Bell (11:07 AM)
Phil: You're right. He has. But they start very, very slowly with light bat swings, soft catches. It's quite a distance from there to return to play. What's hard to know from a distance is whether he has any instability in that shoulder as a result of injury. If he has lingering instability, it may show up at the plate - but we may not really know how it affects him until he returns. In other words, he may get well enough to return, but then struggle. This is a tough injury and the only thing you can do is keep an eye on how he's faring as his activity progresses to try to catch clues. That's what we're here for.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Can you tell us ANYTHING whatsoever about Joey Votto? At this point, I'll even accept unsubstantiated rumors.
Stephania Bell (11:10 AM)
Travis: Well, other than telling you that he worked out at the ballpark while the team was on the road, it would be unsubstantiated guessing. Look - he was put on the DL with stress-related issues and I have to imagine part of that was frustration related to the recurrent dizziness. The dizziness was reportedly tied to an ear infection and it worsened when he traveled, so by keeping him grounded for a while, it may help everything. I do still think this is a short term issue and he comes back sooner rather than later.
any word on sizemore? i heard he's doing better.
toby (h-burg, pa)
ms. bell, what is your gut telling you about grady sizemore? i know his MRI isn't until monday, but do you think we won't see him for long time?
Stephania Bell (11:15 AM)
Answers to both Toby and Dan: So yes - Dan - Grady is doing better - and Toby is right he has an MRI scheduled for Monday. Here's the problem. Of course he's going to feel better - he hasn't done anything. Although it's a non-specific injury according to the team, they called it inflammation in his elbow. Inflammation gets better with rest. But then it tends to get aggravated with activity. It sounds like the team is doing the MRI to get a comparison as far as inflammation/edema in the area. If the MRI is not good, we know he's having surgery. But even if the MRI looks better, still no guarantees. He needs to ramp back up and see if he can do so without pain. My gut tells me that two weeks isn't enough to rid him of the problem - but it may be enough to dampen it so he can try to return. Not extremely confident about this one - elbow problems like this tend to be chronic.
Hi Steph,Carlos Quentin... what to do, what to do. So many different prognoses on the guy it's making me wonder now if he will even play this season. Any info?
Stephania Bell (11:17 AM)
Frank: I feel like you do. I didn't like his injury back in the beginning and thought they were underplaying a condition like plantar fasciitis. Now he reportedly has torn a tendon - whether it's a tendon or he truly tore part of the plantar fascia is unclear. Either way - I don't like the way it sounds. For sure out until the All-Star break. I think it's a wait and see after that.
Do you think Bartlett will be 100% if and when he comes back on Tuesday?
Stephania Bell (11:19 AM)
Matt: It's impossible for me to rate a guy as 100% unless I'm seeing him as a patient - too many subtleties in terms of what to evaluate. But I will say this. The fact that the team held him out and has been patient in his return tells me that they are really wanting to ensure that his ankle is ready to handle the defensive demands of his position. So I feel more confident about his level of health returning now than if he had come back a week earlier.
I see Maine went on the DL today. What kind of timetable do you think is in front of him?
Stephania Bell (11:23 AM)
John - and Eric who also posted a question about Maine: It sounds like this DL trip is a result of his feeling fatigued in the arm, which may be contributing to a drop in velocity. There doesn't appear to be a major structural problem but they're probably trying to prevent one by resting him. Could be that the combination of him having a stomach virus (which made him weak) and some minor shoulder issues combined here, but I think he'll rest a bit, then try to work his endurance up - so I'm guessing post-All Star Break.
C.Quentin's injury has me so depressed! Maybe to cheer me up, you could also speak about how A.Gordon is progressing??? Thanks for the chats and the blog!
Stephania Bell (11:26 AM)
OK Dan - some good news. Gordon is hitting in the batting cages - first live swings since surgery - so you have to feel good about his progress. And he remains on track at this point to come back after All-Star Break.
Chris (Lynchburg, VA)
Hey Stephania I hope you eventually got some sun last week in Miami. How concerned should I be about Ellsbury's shoulder injury?
Stephania Bell (11:29 AM)
Chris: Thanks for wishing that for me - unfortunately, I think I got about two hours of total sun in Miami. But it was nice and warm anyway...I would not be too concerned about Ellsbury as I think he may even play tonight. He sprained his AC joint on a diving catch a few days ago but it sounds as if it was minor and they expect him back soon. Check pre-game lineup to be sure, but it may be tonight.
Jennie (San Diego, CA)
Good morning Stephania, Help me beat a league of all boys. Somebody dropped Asdrubal Cabrera and I'm thinking of getting him and putting him on the DL. Wasn't there fairly positive news on him recently?
Stephania Bell (11:32 AM)
Jennie: Anytime. The news that was good on Cabrera was that he had a sprained AC, not a dislocated shoulder as originally reported. The team is saying anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Plan on closer to 4, but he should be able to come back strong from the injury as it sounds like it was not a major sprain.
ARob (Not ARod) (Happy Valley)
Stephania, Please tell me Hanley Ramirez is okay?
Stephania Bell (11:34 AM)
A-Rob: Well, according to the team he is. It sounds like they want to make sure he gets some intermittent rest and not push too hard as the groin is still healing. But sounds like they expect him in the lineup today.
Any news on Doumit? wasn't he supposed to be back in the middle of the month?
Stephania Bell (11:39 AM)
Michael: Originally that may have been his timeframe and he feels good - but the team is wisely playing this cautiously. He has follow-up CT scans to check the healing process of the bone in his hand that was fractured (scaphoid). It can't be overemphasized how important it is for this to fully heal and not get re-injured. The screw they put in helped and reportedly the surgery went great, but now they want to ensure plenty of time before subjecting the hand to repetitive torque associated primarily with bat swing. So now it appears that it will be after the All-Star Break, but still no definitive timetable. This is not a bad sign at all, just the team being wise.
Hi Steph, I remember early in the season you weren't too confident in John Lackey having a strong return from the DL and so far you couldn't be more right. Any chance he gets it together or do you thikn the overuse the past couple years, mixed with 2 injuries, has changed him?
Stephania Bell (11:44 AM)
Paul: Well, occasionally we get some right, although not sure I can take credit for this one. I actually see that he is stretching out his number of pitches and endurance-wise seems to be holding up, which is where I expected to see a problem first. He's not complaining about his elbow (at least not so far) but it doesn't mean it's not a factor. I definitely think the cumulative wear and tear is a factor although it's hard to quantify and blame it directly. I think his performance over the next month or two - and seeing whether he can pull himself out of this or if it lingers -will give us more info as to whether the prediction on his decline was really accurate.
Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle. Please tell me you use this mneumonic to remember the bones of the hands. Also, what is with all the dizziness in baseball these days? Is it something we should be concerned about?!
Stephania Bell (11:47 AM)
Garrett: Of course I do! There's another one we made up in PT school that I can't reprint here (never understood why those things work so much better than just memorizing the anatomy...)I am baffled by the dizziness question myself. Sure seems like a lit more of it being reported. I do not have an answer and haven't looked into it enough to give even an educated guess, but I am wondering if all of these cases of flu/respiratory infections/etc are contributing to episodes of dizziness. Definitely an interesting question and I'm going to take a look and see if I can come up with anything...
According to the main ESPN website, Hamilton will be back 10 days after surgery. What happened to 4-6 weeks?
Stephania Bell (11:50 AM)
Mike: Clarification. He is expected to resume "baseball activities" in 10 days. This is the term that's used when a guy is going to be allowed to pick up a bat and start to swing, start to play catch or start to field. And there is a progression obviously from those things to return to full play. Hamilton is saying he wants to play in the All-Star game if selected and it's not necessarily an impossibility - although he certainly won't be rushed back just for that. He is running on a treadmill already and feels good - "more stable" which is commonly what guys say after this type of procedure, so sounds like it was a good move for him.
I have a Volquez for Harden offer on the table. Who is the bigger risk> And who gets more starts the rest of the way. I thought that Volquez elbow swelling was 'minor' and could be back soon. Is there more reason to worry?
Stephania Bell (11:55 AM)
Tony: Hmmm. Apples and oranges. Harden has a known history of soft tissue injuries- but I have to tell you that I am not overly worried about him and his shoulder the rest of this season. The shoulder was the big concern but that has not been what kept him out most recently. He always will have some risk associated with him, but I think the reward pays off. As far as Volquez, I think he had two totally different injuries and the latest is far more concerning to me. Even if the inflammation was minor, having enough to create pressure on the ulnar nerve is not a good sign - and that means it's on the medial or inner elbow, where the TJ ligament is. Makes me worried that he could have ongoing struggles there and I would be hesitant to put him on my team.
John (West Coast Bias)
Stephania, with Escobar heading to the bullpen for the Angels, do you see him as a good pickup for a league that counts holds, or do you think another DL stint is in his future?
Stephania Bell (11:59 AM)
John: Great question. Wish I could give you a confident answer. It sounds like they're at least considering a return to the DL. I'm not quite clear on what they perceive to be the problem exactly, but they certainly sound as if they're concernd about his arm endurance. Now to be fair, he's basically been out of it for most of the last two seasons and is coming off of surgery, so he may just need more time to get that endurance back (or he may be transitioning to a guy who comes out of the bullpen as his arm is obviously older), not necessarily that he's having a major injury setback per se. But given the uncertainty I'd say you're taking your chances putting him on your team at this point.
John (St. Louis)
Hi Stephania! Hiring you is Matthew Berry's greatest achievment! Considering the injuries to Jose Reyes and Josh Hamilton which side of this trade would you rather have for the rest of the year: Hamilton/Rollins or Reyes/A.Soriano
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
John! Can I take this to my superiors? I have to tell you that I take the Hamilton/Rollins. I'm definitely concerned by the progression of Reyes' soft tissue injuries - calf to hamstring, moving all over the place. And although I like that he is on the PRP therapy which I think will help, I'm concerned about him getting back to top speed and how long it takes. And then there's Soriano and his history of soft tissue problems...
With Carpenter really hot right now I still hear a lot of talk that he is a huge injury risk. Is it time to sell high or is the risk not big enough to be a season ender?
Stephania Bell (12:02 PM)
Michael: I think Carpenter has proven himself. Not especially worried about him and you have to consider that his elbow is more stable than it's been in years.
Any updates on Webb?
Stephania Bell (12:03 PM)
Dan: They're hoping he throws a bullpen this weekend. Slowly but surely...
Stephania Bell (12:04 PM)
OK everyone - time for me to vacate the premises. Thanks so much for coming. Awesome questions as usual on Friday. Good luck with your fantasy teams this week. I see a couple of football questions making their way in - and yes, it's almost time to start talking fantasy football. See you next Friday!!!