Chat with Stephania Bell
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stephania bell (11:04 AM)
Good Morning Sports Nation and Happy Friday! I'm in the west coast today so it's still a little early here - but I see that you all are here and ready to go. So let's get right to the injuries!
Rob (Lawrence, KS)
Stephania, let a fellow Jayhawk go first?? Peavy says he's pain-free. You buying him as someone who could contribute in the H2H playoffs?
stephania bell (11:07 AM)
Rob: See? Ask and you shall receive. I would not count on it. I think it's encouraging that he's out of the boot and pain-free, but there's a lot of distance to travel before pitching again. His leg is weak, and it takes a while to get your normal gait back after being in a boot. He might be able to return in September, but there's no way the team pushes him given the history, so I just wouldn't plan on it for fantasy playoffs.
David (Spokane, WA)
I know you are probably sick of talking about the Reyes injury, but I just want to know if you have heard anything new on his return?
stephania bell (11:11 AM)
David: Not near as sick as the Mets are. The latest is that he's been doing agility drills and had a good workout yesterday. Still no base running and clearly still no rehab games. Just b/c he may be the first of the big 3 to return doesn't mean it will be soon. I also think he may still be coming off the benefits of his most recent injection, and before I get too excited I want to see another week of good action without a setback. With speed being his strength, it will take a while to get that back too. So - it's still a murky picture, few weeks at best.
What do you see for peavy then next year? Will he be back to his dominant self or is this the kind of thing that could linger?
stephania bell (11:13 AM)
John: I think it all depends on how he's brought back now. I'm under the impression that the healing is much improved (or he wouldn't have been able to come out of the boot and be cleared to rehab). Now it has to continue from here, but if he progresses without major setback (i.e. re-injury of the tendon while still healing), then once healed, I don't see him having ongoing problems. I think that's why the Padres were saying earlier in the week that it might be 2010 - they will be conservative to ensure it doesn't linger.
Should we have high expectations of Carlos Quentin coming back strong or will he struggle a lot?
stephania bell (11:16 AM)
Mike: My guess is that it's somewhere in the middle. After his extended absence I'm not sure my expectations are high, but I don't necessarily expect him to struggle. My biggest worry is that he'll find it flaring up again - with a misstep or an awkward land on a base. He hasn't been playing (rehab) long enough to show us that he can play consistently and do everything he needs to without any inkling of a problem. So I would have conservative hopes for him at least initially.
What's up with Beltran? The latest from the NY Daily News that the bruise hasn't subsided much isn't comforting. Should we expect him back before Mid-August? I imagine even when he comes back he won't be stealing any bags.
stephania bell (11:19 AM)
Hi Tom: It's not, you're right. But I have to say (in addition to the fact that I warned folks about this based on the early signs), these bone bruises can take a long time to heal. We just have to hope that it really is going to and that there is not progressive damage to the cartilage. In order to help prevent that, it's key not to be too aggressive too early. And then the leg is so deconditioned after being protected for so long. I'm not exactly optimistic about any timetable at this point. And I certainly wouldn't count on steals, even if he's back in the lineup.
Geoff (Menlo Park, CA)
Good morning Stephania, what's your take on Aramis Ramirez' latest quote about his shoulder? "I thought it was going to be better," he said. "To be honest with you, I thought it was going to be a lot better. I played three games of rehab and felt great. Then I started playing every day, and that's a lot of swings, a lot of stuff, a lot of games."Is it realistic to assume we won't see his power return this year? Should I be looking into other 3b alternatives? Go Niners.
stephania bell (11:22 AM)
Hi Geoff: you're down the street from me right now (I'm in Redwood City today). As far as Ramirez, I think what he's experiencing is totally expected given the injury; I think he got a little overexcited after an initial burst when he returned in his rehab games. Remember he had prior dislocation problems with the shoulder, and he may yet need offseason surgery. At the very least, he still needs the offseason. I doubt the power returns CONSISTENTLY this year, although we may see flashes of it, so it's hard to say pass on him, but I might seek out some insurance in case you don't see much improvement in the next few weeks.Niners are going to be good this year...
Berkman: serious, semi-serious, or don't worry about it?Also, is Duchscherer ever coming back?
stephania bell (11:26 AM)
Ron: Can't say serious yet. They are calling it a mild calf strain so I'll take their word for it right now. He's day-to-day. Duchscherer may be a mid-August return, and it looks like they're planning on the bullpen, at least initially. The first target will be to see if he actually is able to start a rehab assignment by late July. If he's strong enough to do that, then I think mid-August seems reasonable.
P. Vader (Man's League)
"He might be able to return in September, but there's no way the team pushes him given the history, so I just wouldn't plan on it for fantasy playoffs." There are 10 weeks left in the season and his ankle is completely healed... How long could this rehab possibly take??
stephania bell (11:29 AM)
P. Vader: Are you the real pod? Or a namesake? Clearly you have never had an injury that put you in an ankle boot for more than a month. Just because the tendon heals doesn't mean it's at full strength. Walking around with a boot on your foot for that long means your entire ankle loses some of its range of motion and you certainly don't walk normally. Have you ever been in a cast? When you take it off, the muscle is atrophied and skinny, it takes time to build that back up. You can't just jump on the mound - and it takes weeks, sometimes months to get there. Going too fast is the first step in tearing the tissue all over again.
Based on his solid rehab games, do you expect Alex Gordon to come back and play well right away?
stephania bell (11:31 AM)
AJ: I actually think Gordon could come back and be productive off the bat (sorry). He had the advantage of being in-season before the injury, so he was primed with spring training and games (unlike A-Rod). He also had a few extra weeks on his timetable (more than A-Rod). One of the hardest things to get back is the comfort with the defensive plays from third and the ability to slide. expect it to take a bit for these to get to top form, but I think he'll be ready to go tonight and contribute.
Dave (Frisco, TX)
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Cubs are encouraged by Soto's (oblique) progress and believe he might be back sooner that originally projected. With no timetable in place for his return, I'm still skeptical that this report is anything more than wishful thinking. What do you think about Soto's injury and timetable for return? Oblique injuries are pretty serious for a baseball player...right? Also, in application to a fantasy owners team, is Soto worthy of a DL spot or do you think it's better to not expect much out of him after he returns? On several teams I have more than one player who is DL eligible so players that are "expected" to produce when they return are at a premium rather than players you "wish" would produce. Your thoughts? Thanks.
stephania bell (11:34 AM)
Hi Dave: Well, you're right that obliques can be serious - but it's interesting. Pitchers seem to have the most severe injuries on a consistent basis to the oblique, often tearing it right at its attachment to the rib. Batters seem to have a wider variety of strains, not consistently located, and the mild ones can recover within a couple of weeks. Soto's was called mild all along, so this wouldn't surprise me. I do think he could be DL worthy, especially since he seemed to be finally putting it together this season right before he got injured and this won't have been an extensive absence (assuming of course that there are no setbacks).
Morning Stephania! Love these Friday AM injury chats! Doumit is sitting on my WW, teasing me. Can he remain healthy (in relation to past injuries, cuz who can predict new ones) and be a good contributor the rest of the way? Or is he just here for a cup of coffee (with ibuprofen chaser)?
stephania bell (11:38 AM)
Jim: Glad to have you! I think Doumit is safe, at least a s far as the wrist. He's shown that he can swing the bat without it bothering him - and remember, he wanted to come back sooner, but the team wanted to be sure that he was really ready. Knowing that they gave him some extra time makes me feel better about the situation. Plus, the rest can only help the rest of his body. So I think he's really back.
When is Randy Johnson projected back?
stephania bell (11:41 AM)
Greg: As far as I know the team is not really speculating just yet, although Johnson himself came out and said it could be longer than the 15 days - naturally as he pointed out this comes from a guy with 4 knee surgeries and 3 back surgeries - who is accustomed to extended rehab and knows that no one wants to put a specific time frame on things given all the variables that could inmpact it. The good news is that it's his first real shoulder issue, the less good news is that he's not in his twenties (or thirties for that matter. I would plan on at least a ten day extension beyond the DL time.
Hi Stephania, thanks for the info. Any word on Vlad? Whenever a timeframe get's mentioned for him, it seems to just get further and further into August...
stephania bell (11:44 AM)
B: Everything I've seen points to a 3-4 week absence. Vlad says he feels better, but is still limited to a stationary bike. That makes it hard to really project whether the timetable is realistic. Once he's cleared for baserunning and rehab we'll get a better idea. I wouldn't plan on anything before mid-August.
Hey Stephania! You've already touched on two of the injured Mets, so why not complete the trifecta? What's the status on Delgado's return? Will he beat the other two back? And how productive can he be when he does return?
stephania bell (11:46 AM)
Matt; The Mets seem to think Reyes is the first one back, but I still think it's up for grabs. Delgado has had good reports on his progress, but my concern with him is that I suspect he has some underlying arthritis in the hip that needs to be protected (remember his hip was problematic long before he had the labral tear that sent him to surgery this year) so he will not likely move as fast as a young Alex Gordon for instance, and I'm not sure he doesn't return in a limited capacity initially (intermittent days off).
Whatever happened to Conor Jackson?
stephania bell (11:48 AM)
David: He had a really severe illness (that can take months or years to recover from in worst cases) and the biggest issue for him has been fatigue. At least now he can do some baseball activities more consistently but it sounds as if he's quite a ways from a rehab assignment. I'm not sure he'll be back this year.
What's the word on Broxton? Is he someone to keep for the rest of the year or try to sell before his condition worsens?
stephania bell (11:52 AM)
Frank (and Ryan, Jacob and Desmond too who had the same question): The toe problem will not go away and the Dodgers are just going to try to work around it. Meaning you don't know when it's going to flare up enough to force him out for a while,and even when he is active, it certainly may be affecting him. It's not great news and may ultimately force DL time if they can't keep it under control.
Hey Stephania, hope you're enjoying California. The Phils just signed Pedo and then put him on the DL. I'm guessing it was a move to get him starts in the minors but what can we expect from him when he's activated? Thanks!
stephania bell (11:54 AM)
Adam: It's an interesting move that caught my eye. they're saying he has a sore shoulder, but the timing is interesting. I'm assuming he needs to pitch in the minors for them before they dare move him up. I think he will be a hit and miss guy. Flashes of great stuff, but not consistent, and he definitely can't go deep into games. They'll have to hope for 5-6 solid innings from him at a time.
Hey Stephania. I have an open DL Spot and a question: Is Webb, Volquez or Hudson worth owning for a late fantasy playoff push?
stephania bell (11:57 AM)
Kerry: Well, Volquez is headed to long toss this weekend and if that goes well, returning to the mound isn't far behind. There's still a rehab assignment afterward so you're looking at a month but I think there's some optimism to be had there. I don't expect Webb to be back - maybe in September, but after 3-plus setbacks in one season with no major injury, I'm not feeling confident about anything other than a complete offseason for him,
stephania bell (11:59 AM)
Oh - and Hudson should be back in a month or so - he's probably the guy I'm most interested in when he comes back, but he's looking to be 5-6 weeks out.
Experts such as yourself generally say that wrist injuries sap power, at least in the short- to mid-term. Yet Edwin Encarnacion (n = 1) is currently raking. Does his production thus far suggest that he's an exception to the rule? Or do you foresee a prolonged power outage on the horizon?
stephania bell (12:02 PM)
Ben: Great question. So many variables factor in that it's hard to really give you a decent answer. One of the issues is where the injury is and what it is. A broken bone is more problematic b/c of all the time to immobilize the wrist. A ligament injury that doesn't heal fully is also a problem, b/c any instability translates into pain which means less power. Sometimes guys come back too fast and then when they increase the activity, the wrist can't handle it and they become inconsistent. A guy with an injury that can fully recover, given enough time to really heal and build up his strength, can come back with immediate results.
What's the word on DeRosa? Thanks!
stephania bell (12:03 PM)
Jamie: Sorry to tell you I don't have a major update here. All is can say is that he tore a tendon sheath which often takes 4-6 weeks to return from. Initially they thought it was less serious, but the torn sheath means the tissue has to heal. There is little to report in the first week or so because all he's doing is resting. Hopefully we'll have a little more by next week's chat.
Is Shaun Marcum worth a speculative grab in 12 team mixed leagues? I heard he's ahead of schedule, but how ahead of schedule can you be when you're recovering from TJS?
stephania bell (12:07 PM)
Cary: It certainly looks like he'll be pitching this year, but the thing with the guys coming off TJ surgery is that they're usually inconsistent initially, which is why it takes a year for them to get their numbers back. Location and command are always harder to recover than their strength. It's the fact that they're away from pitching for over a year that makes it tough to get the "feel" back. If you want to take the chance that he could give you a little something in the last month or so, go ahead, but you can;t really expect too much.
stephania bell (12:10 PM)
Sorry gang - I have to go b/c my time is up - but I will have a blog this week - and hopefully I can answer some of your other questions there. Thanks Bill in Minneapolis - and thanks to everyone for coming and keeping me on my toes. I'm just coming back from vacation (thanks to the All-Star Break for not adding to the injury list!) - so we will dive in this week and see what's shaping up for the second half. Have a great weekend! See you back here next Friday.