Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday afternoon, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (3:03 PM)
Hey everyone! Did you miss me? Wait - don't answer that...I feel compelled to share with you the benefits of sunshine after a very long and cold winter in the northeast. It does wonders for restorative powers.Unfortunately, I can see that the injuries did not go on hiatus last week, giving us plenty to discuss. Thanks so much for coming...here we go!
Any hope for a De La Rosa return this year or safe to cut bait?
Stephania Bell (3:05 PM)
Jerry: No, no return. He suffered a complete UCL tear and appears headed for TJ surgery. Meaning you can expect about a year's worth of recovery, give or take (usually a bit longer for a starter). Very sad for him and the Rockies, but, well, these injuries are just not an uncommon occurrence any longer.
Teddy (New York)
Congrats on your work on the NFL draft. You really know your stuff...Why are there so many injuries to pitchers this season...it seems pretty weird to me. Thanks again.
Stephania Bell (3:09 PM)
Teddy: Thanks - between NFL and MLB there are enough injury issues to keep a gal busy...And yes, for those wondering, there ARE more injuries in baseball this year, all around. I've been looking at some numbers and the injury totals - and time spent on the DL - are both on the rise. Now WHY that is happening is the million dollar question (literally, when you look at costs in relation to time lost in player salaries and replacement costs) and no one really has the answer yet. Medical people and team GMs would love to solve it. Guessing that won't happen this year.
When does Josh Johnson return, and how much will the specific injury affect his velocity, accuracy, etc? Basically, does he come back close to as dominant as he was?
Stephania Bell (3:11 PM)
Jayson: Probably the question every fantasy owner wants to know. Anyone who follows me knows I expressed concern about Johnson in the preseason for multiple reasons, including his big workload with his big arm. Now we come to find out that his shoulder has been bothering him to some degree all year. That makes me MORE nervous. While he says he feels better and it sounds like the team expects him to return June 1 when eligible, I have a hard time being confident in how he'll perform and even if he performs well, how long he'll hold up. Wish I could give you a better answer, but the problem itself is vague. And with that comes the uncertainty.
Happy Wednesday Stephania! My question concerns B. Beachy. What is the extent of his injury,how long will he rehab and would you add him now to use him for rest of season(he was just dropped in my NL only)? Thanks alot
Stephania Bell (3:14 PM)
Ethan: Beachy (oblique) was expected to miss about a month when he was placed on the DL - which would mean not returning until mid-June. For moderate oblique strains in a pitcher it usually ends up being about that long or slightly longer. He has been cleared to play catch but then has to work his way back to the intensity of pitching. I would wait another week or so to add him to see how he's progressing - make sure no setbacks to light throwing. Good news is once recovered, most players do well going forward from these.
Wright's stress fracture is causing me stress. Can you offer some reassurance of a quick return?
Stephania Bell (3:19 PM)
Lee: Well, the team seems to think he won't be out that long, but I have a hard time believing he'll be back within two weeks. The good news is that his visit with Dr. Watkins (spine specialist who sees many athletes) essentially confirmed the diagnosis and he began a PT program, which really for these types of injuries focuses on deep abdominal stabilization to protect the injured area. It's a case of symptoms dictating activity - so when he can do baseball things without provoking pain he'll return. In my experience typically takes closer to a month to six weeks, but everyone is different so not hard and fast.
Hey Stephania - any new news on Ryan Zimmerman? Someone dropped him in my league so I picked him up to stash on my DL, given how weak 3B is. Expect he'll be back mid-June and be the same player?
Stephania Bell (3:22 PM)
Josh: Mid-June was the six week projection, which so far he could be on track to do. I say could be, because the only way we really know is once an athlete starts ramping up his activity, you see how he responds. You don't want any pulling or tugging in the area where they repaired the abdominals. The word is that he's headed to the Nationals' spring training complex in FL soon to begin rehab work so...if all goes well, mid-June possible. May take a bit to be the all-out hitter and runner again, but very low incidence of problems post-surgery with this, so just a matter of getting back up to speed.
Eddie (Hoboken, NJ)
Good afternoon Stephania! What do we expect out of Joe Mauer this year? Another chat earlier this week alluded to the fact that you were the gal to ask..
Stephania Bell (3:24 PM)
Eddie: Hmmm. Mauer's situation has been cloudy from the word go. If I could tell you that I really understood what he was dealing with, it might be easier to offer a projection. If it truly is a deconditioning issue (which has been what the team has suggested by saying he tried to do too much too soon post knee-surgery), then all this extra conditioning time should help. Just really need to see to believe, you know? Even the team won't give a timetable.
Flyin Hawaiin update? What is up with victorino?
Stephania Bell (3:26 PM)
Hi Mike: Not flyin' yet...but he is taking BP, doing some drills, expect he goes out on a rehab assignment next week if he can run by then. Biggest test is always full speed running so we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves. But his eligible return date is around 6/3 and the Phillies seem to be optimistic he makes that.
Adam (San Diego)
Hi Stephania...thoughts on Matt Garza's injury?
Stephania Bell (3:29 PM)
Adam: A little odd. Bone contusion means bruising of the bone. Usually we see this with a direct blow...or instability. I really would like to know exactly where that bruising is. Concerns me if we're talking about some instability anywhere near a thrower's elbow. The contusion itself he should recover from just fine with a little rest. If some underlying structural issue led to it, well, then, there's more reason to be nervous.
Steph, Heyward has an inflamed rotator cuff, or so I understand. When do you try rehab and/or rest and when is surgery advisable. Thanks.
Stephania Bell (3:32 PM)
Brian: Yes, that's what the team called it and he had a follow-up visit with Dr. Yocum who confirmed it. So we know he has inflammation in/around his cuff. Surgery not indicated here. We're talking inflammation, not tear. And even in the presence of a tear, unless it's major, surgery really not an option. Once you open up the shoulder - and that is a LONG recovery, it's problematic. The concern for me is what is causing this. Going back to the nerve symptoms he experienced, it just doesn't sound like the shoulder all by itself. I just hope they get to the root of what's aggravating it in the first place. THAT will be the key to him making big improvements.
How are things going with Pablo Sandoval?
Stephania Bell (3:36 PM)
Dave: The good news is he's taking some swings from a tee, right-side only. Surgery was on his right hand so potentially more problematic for him to swing from left-side as it will create pressure over the scar. And this is a guy who swings hard and creates a lot of pressure. After all, that is what causes the injury in the first place. Guys who have had this tell me the hardest part initially is the pressure over the sensitive scar. Once that goes away, easier to hit. He was hitting so well when he got hurt, hopefully not long to return to form.
Logan (New Hampshire)
Hi Stephania! Could you give an update on Adam Lind? Those back spasms seem like a strange problem.
Stephania Bell (3:38 PM)
Logan: Spasms not totally unusual. I think Lind's trip to the DL caught all of us (including Lind) a little by surprise since he seemed to be making some improvements right before the move - but perhaps the team wanted to make sure he was truly better before rturning him to competition and taking any chances of it worsening. So far I believe he has DH'd in extended spring training. Needs a few rehab games but could be back by the weekend.
Hey Stephania, love your work, always informative and helpful! Any updates on Broxton and Padilla? Will either reclaim the closer role given the bullpen mess in LA recently? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (3:41 PM)
Chris: Why thank you! Padilla will be back before Broxton. There's even an outside chance he returns this weekend. Had a flare-up in the forearm where he had surgery, not a total surprise, but it seems to have responded well to a cortisone shot. He may need a few extra days but it doesn't appear serious. Broxton playing catch but no timetable. It's his elbow so he will not be rushed. Doubt we see him before another 3-4 weeks.
I own both JJ and Garza in my keeper league. Your chat makes me feel sad. Not that I find you a sad person, Stephania. You seem knowledgeable and lovely. But it's what you say that makes me sad. A deep, deep sadness.
Stephania Bell (3:42 PM)
Trout: Join the club. Injury news is often, well, sad. But then there are days like yesterday where I get to talk about guys who are coming back. And we smile again.
Matt Capps hurt? How long do you think he'll be out? Should we be trusting Joe Nathan now?
Stephania Bell (3:44 PM)
Tim: Um, I'd be nervous. Two blown saves, a sore forearm and now held out for precautionary reasons? Might be seeing Nathan back sooner rather than later. And frankly, I think Nathan gets his groove back. Always a little rocky when first off TJ as it is like learning to ride a bike all over again. But from the healing perspective he should be fine.
Chris (Alexandria, VA)
Just to confirm, did you own De La Rosa in any leagues?
Stephania Bell (3:45 PM)
Chris: Nope, got asked that on Twitter last night. I can't possibly own everyone :)My teams are actually, dare I say it, relatively healthy. Not counting Morales, but I blame Nate for that one.
Welcome Back Stephania! Are you encouraged about Stephen Strasburg pitching from the mound? I'm thinking about stashing him in my 12 mixed league?
Stephania Bell (3:48 PM)
Hi Suzanne: Thank you! Nice to be back - although I would have preferred a slow, not-too-many-injuries return...While I love that Strasburg is throwing off a mound and that he is excited about it (if you saw his tweet) - he is not likely to see any action this year. So keeper league, sure, but otherwise I would not spend the spot.
Aaron (New york )
its almost june 1 , how do you think brian matusz comes back from his injury
Stephania Bell (3:51 PM)
Aaron: It looks like he'll have one more rehab outing before returning and the best thing, as he himself pointed out, is that he feels healthy. I suspect, given the long layoff, that he might be a bit rusty and that fatigue could be a factor, but if the injury has fully healed (which I expect it will have given the time), then he'll get his form back within a few outings.
Angel Pagan update?
Stephania Bell (3:51 PM)
Stella: Pagan looks like he could be back for this weekend. Maybe one more rehab outing(?) and then back in the lineup.
Follow up to Suzanne's question about Strasburg - how do you feel about him for next season? What about Wainwright, how is he progressing? Which would you stash first for a keeper league?
Stephania Bell (3:55 PM)
Chris: Interesting question. Wainwright still about a month away from throwing but if you look at timing of his injury, he should be close to on track for start of next season. Meaning he and Strasburg could return to pitch around the same time although Strasburg will have been "ready" longer. I would expect Strasbrug to be more comfortable with throwing at the start of the season, but then Wainwright is an experienced pitcher. Strasburg barely got his toes wet in the majors before suffering the injury so there may be quite an adjustment there too. Hmmm. I'm feeling like waffling. But I think at the end I go with Strasburg as he'll be further along, has tremendous upside and you hope the youth means something.
Matt Holliday...what say ye?
Stephania Bell (3:57 PM)
Billee: I say it looks like he's out until Friday. So far the Cards hope to avoid the DL - but muscular injuries a concern. This is where you say even though it sounds strange, the appendectomy is a lesser long-term concern. Once recovered, no worries going forward. A major muscle that's impacted, that can crop up again anytime...
This Andrew Bailey rehab has been the slowest thing ever. Is that because of the nature of the injury, or are the A's being overly cautious with their prized closer?
Stephania Bell (4:00 PM)
Mike: Yes. In other words, I think it's both. I mean he had a scary looking elbow injury this spring which reportedly turned out to be not much but the slow progression and the time it took him to get past his symptoms tell you that everyone is proceeding with extreme caution. Want to make sure he is really ready so they don't have to go through this entire process again.
Jay (New York)
Please tell me some good new about Ike Davis, the Mets need his bat back in the lineup badly
Stephania Bell (4:02 PM)
Jay, Jay, Jay: I can't. He's still having issues with the ankle that are limiting him and it doesn't look like he'll come off the DL when eligible. They need him - but not at the risk of compromising his future health. So...stay tuned, but it's going to be a while longer.
Stephania Bell (4:03 PM)
OK everyone - time for me to move out of the way in the chat room. I want to thank eveyrone who came - awesome questions, as always. And if we didn't get to it here (never enough time), it may show up in a blog entry this week, on the podcast or in Fantasy Focus video. Also - I'll be on Baseball Tonight tomorrow night at 10 pm EST (and regularly on Thursdays going forward talking injury topics...so thanks for being here and stay healthy!!!