Chat with 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!
Need an in-depth answer to your question? Want your roster or trade offers reviewed? Get a personalized response from an ESPN expert with The Answer Guys. All questions answered within 24 hours, guaranteed. Ask your question .
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
Stephania Bell (3:06 PM)
Good afternoon everyone - I missed you last week while I was getting my CA fix during the All-Star Break. Now that we're back in business, there are always new injuries to talk about...so here we go!
Stephania! David Wright's coming back - great news! Projections for him?
Stephania Bell (3:08 PM)
Dave: I have been high on Wright after this rehab. Consider that he was playing through the injury which was affecting his swing for a month or so. I think you get a solid second half from him- and I don't do numeric projections, but I expect a more productive Wright than you had first two months...
Tom (San Francisco!)
Hello from SF! Love the moves the Giants made recently! Quick Padres question: have you heard anything about Richard? Thanks
Stephania Bell (3:09 PM)
Tom: And I already miss it!! No news on Richard. Last I heard there was no timetable for him to throw and there's been no word since - but several folks asking about him so as soon as I hear something, will post it.
Dan (Reno, NV)
Josh Johnson or stephen strasburg, who is more likely to start a game this season?
Stephania Bell (3:11 PM)
Dan: Not sure why I picked your question b/c I really can't answer it. Here's how I'm going to frame it. Strasburg is on a definite upswing. He's had the surgery, is doing well and yes, is approaching the possibility that he could perform in a game - BUT, there may be other forces at work which dictate whether the Nationals will, in fact, use him or hold off until next year. Johnson is in an unknown place (and I blogged about him today) but there is so much uncertainty around his situation that while I think there's hope that he'll pitch this season, there's no way to say for sure, would only be a guess.
Doug Cost (Fairbanks)
Hey Stephania,I have Buchholz, Bedard, Baker and Lidge. I'm running out of room on the DL bench and I need pitchers not belly itchers. Who of these guys is coming back any time soon? And when they return will they return to pitching well any time soon?Thanks,Doug
Stephania Bell (3:15 PM)
Hi Doug: What's the weather like in Fairbanks? You indeed have a lot of occupants on your DL. Buchholz is not doing well with his back. No timeframe on him. Bedard, who the Mariners were originally hoping to have back this week, sounds like he's one week away (or so they hope). Baker apparently doing pretty well and they hope he starts Saturday (but keep in mind that he's had the issue twice this year so we'll see how he lasts) and then Lidge could be activated this weekend (wow) but we'll see how they choose to use him initially.
Good afternoon Stephania! Good report came out about Oswalt's pitching session. 1) Possible timetable for his return 2) Worth a stash now in anticipation of return? Thanks alot
Stephania Bell (3:17 PM)
Hi David: Apparently Oswalt felt that this injection helped him more than the last one and he has not had pain in his legs. Now the key will be to see if that lasts as he increases his intensity (and over time). But if all goes well sounds like another bullpen this weekend, maybe rehab games next week so...two weeks or so?
Should I worry about Roy Halladay over-heating again in his next start? Is he going to have a tiny fan and water bottle by his rosin bag on the mound?
Stephania Bell (3:18 PM)
Chris: It might not be a bad idea! That heat was brutal - but he says he's feeling better and expects to be fine next time...we'll see.
Ryan Braun seems to be in and out of the lineup recently. Why won't the Brewers just let his calf heal and get him back to 100%?
Stephania Bell (3:20 PM)
Tim: Very good question - but obviously they feel the reward is worth the risk. He got through 5 innings yesterday - but it's not just the length of game, it's the type of movement he makes (I think for instance he could just as easily aggravate it during the 1st as the 6th) although the less total work he gets helps with less overall fatigue perhaps. We'll find out if their decision pays off.
would you be omfortable trading for Reyes now? Any signs his hammy reappears? they don't often just got away you know...
Stephania Bell (3:22 PM)
dave: I do know! And until he's into it for another 2-3 weeks, I'm not really "comfortable" that he's past it...but, it doesn't mean I wouldn't take the gamble on a trade depending what I needed and what I would have to give up. When he came back from other injuries, he was far more apprehensive in his play. But last night he played aggressively, without hesitation, which I take as a very good sign.
Dan (Reno, NV)
Have to ask about our team: Is Freddy Sanchez going to inevitably have surgery? Seems to me that with Keppinger being signed we won't see him back for a while
Stephania Bell (3:24 PM)
Dan: The move certainly made me think they're not expecting him...not that they really were anyway, but I think it's even more likely. Not sure surgery has been decided upon, but think they gave themselves extra insurance.
Jon (Heat Wave (1/3 of the US))
Hey there Stephania, always appreciate the advice. Is Longoria a good buy low candidate right now and what exactly do they mean by a nerve issue in his foot?
Stephania Bell (3:26 PM)
Jon: Thanks for appreciating! The nerve issue is a Morton's neuroma - common, but doesn't mean it's any less annoying. Basically a small nerve in the ball of the foot area that can get compressed and cause tingling symptoms into the toes. Makes it hard at times to push off, uncomfortable with pressure through that area. While it's not likely to completely resolve during the season, it certainly can fluctuate in terms of how much it's bothering someone and they are no doubt fiddling with options to help him. I don't expect him to be out with this or anything.
Tom (Third Base Purgatory)
Chipper and A-Rod has similar knee surgeries..but why is Chipper almost back? Did I miss something? What do you see from both guys?
Stephania Bell (3:29 PM)
Tom: I think A-Rod's estimate was conservative and he could (stress: could) be back sooner. But that's not necessarily the team's goal as they want him for years (remember, he's pricey). Jones, admittedly, has improved very quickly and looks as if he could return at the end of 15 days although he's said if he feels anything he will hold off (as he should). But the unknowns are exactly what they did in each surgery - even small differences like the location, size of the tear can create big differences in rehab - and we don't know those specifics.
Paul (Seattle, WA)
Is Broxton coming back this year? He's doing "arm exercises".
Stephania Bell (3:31 PM)
Paul: I think it's a red herring. Don't expect he really makes it back. The timetable he will be on doesn't really allow for it.
What do you expect from JJ Putz when he returns? Is he a candidate for re-injury or lesser performance?
Stephania Bell (3:35 PM)
Daniel: You are one of many with the Putz questions (shoutouts to Bob in Nashville, Mick in Mt Vernon and Joe in CHicago): I think they'll slot him back in at closer pretty quickly. So far he has looked strong in the rehab outings and it appears he could be back within the next week to ten days or so. Hernandez goes back to set-up guy. And yes, always a risk for re-injury when you're talking pitcher and elbow, but the way he looks right now is certainly encouraging.
Steven (Panama City Beach)
Albert Pujols truly is a Machine! Do you expect any lingering effects from his wrist injury?
Stephania Bell (3:36 PM)
Steven: You are correct. Nope, no worries- we would have seen the issues already.
Thanks for your work! Reports are that Lester will come of the DL and pitch next Monday. Any concerns with throwing him out there when he comes back?
Stephania Bell (3:38 PM)
Matt: At work right there with you - thanks for joining...yes, sounds like Lester is back in the rotation next week. Here's the thing - I don't necessarily believe in automatically waiting to start a guy until he gets the first return game under his belt, but I want to see what he does this week before I decide. No rehab games planned, just a couple bullpens - want to see how many pitches, what he throws and how he feels afterward. Even then, just because of what it is, I might wait the first outing (although if I had a weekly lock, I might not since he'll get two starts...I would not decide until Sunday.
How is my boy Choo doing, this report with him coming back mid-august is getting me excited! He came back early last year from an injury and raked, why can't he do it this year?
Stephania Bell (3:40 PM)
Mark: Well there's nothing saying he can't, but these are two totally different injuries. Last year was a mild sprain, this year it was a fracture that required some hardware. Love his optimisim...but let's see how he's faring when he's actually swinging the bat. Until then (which will really test his thumb), I would not count on his second week of August prediction.
Do you trust Foster's knee enough to draft him 1st overall?
Stephania Bell (3:41 PM)
Dave: Saw him dancing a little at the ESPYs...think he'll be fine.
What about Ike? One minute rehab was going well now he's talking like he's gone for season. What gives?
Stephania Bell (3:42 PM)
Steve: It really comes down to the running. He had been doing well in rehab until it came to that activity. His last instructions were to wait three more weeks then re-test. So he's in the waiting phase -again. But I think at some point athletes get an intuitive sense as to how something is progressing...or not. And he must sense that it's really not changing enough to make it likely he'll return.
CarGo any lingerin' effects w/his wrist? know he hit HR last nite, but should I be nervous?? thx!!
Stephania Bell (3:45 PM)
JW: The homer was a nice touch but it doesn't put him out of the woods. If he has another collision on that wrist or falls or does anything to aggravate it, then he could find himself having that same pain again. Hopefully that won't happen and he will continue to deliver but that's an unknown.
Drew (New York, NY)
Any lingering concerns with Mauer? He seems be regaining his mojo.
Stephania Bell (3:47 PM)
Drew: Sure - because I still feel like we don't know exactly what went wrong in the first place. Also, he still was reporting fatigue recently - and his volunteering to play first base more, while good for the Twins who can use him there, hints at that being a little less stressful than catcher...hmmm...just saying, I think we need to see him healthy for months before feeling too confident.
Davis (Ann Arbor, MI)
What about the other M&M boy... You think Morneau could be a fantasy asset down the stretch?
Stephania Bell (3:50 PM)
Davis: I think it will be a stretch. I know he's projected to return some time in August - and hope he can. But neck surgery is not a small thing and remember, the reason he had it was because the lingering symptoms in his hand were potentially threatened to be permanent if they didn't alleviate the compression. When the nerve has been irritated for that long, it is often slow to fully regain its function, meaning it could be some time for him to really achieve full strength.
Ike Davis was dropped in my keeper league and I'm thinking about a pick up for 2012. Is this injury something that will be behind him by then?
Stephania Bell (3:51 PM)
Mike: If he needs microfracture, it's a gamble. I like his optimism, but that's a significant procedure and I wouldn't gamble on it.
Thoughts on Span once he returns?
Stephania Bell (3:53 PM)
Jim: First, I'm just happy for Span that he's made so much progress, including now playing in rehab games without a setback. Hopefully it continues that way to the point he can return fairly soon. Still another level of stress to return to big league play - but once he is able to do that without incident, then you have more confidence that the issue is in the rearview.
Tabata pulled from yet another rehab game. Is there a huge difference between feeling "tightness" in the quad and truly re-injuring it? Kid's had a lot of leg problems and always seems slow to recover.
Stephania Bell (3:57 PM)
Trout: Well, tightness is what you hope someone complains of if there is a hint of aggravating the injury as opposed to full-blown pain - and then you pull them just in case. When speed is a big part of your game, the hamstrings and quads tend to be more at risk...just ask Jose Reyes. And don't forget the Pirates dealt with another player who had multiple setbacks with a quad injury so they are on the alert...better to take the precautions now and hope this injury gets fully behind him before rejoining the squad.
Scott Baker looks like he might pitch this weekend. What do you think?? Should I gamble and pick him up?
Stephania Bell (3:59 PM)
Justin: If the bullpens session goes well today, it looks like he could pitch Saturday. Still a bit of a gamble but could be a worthwhile one.
IS R. Zimmermans injury still affecting him. the results have been sub-par since his return? should we worry about ROS?
Stephania Bell (4:01 PM)
Rich: I think he will continue to get better. He acknowledged some soreness after he returned which wasn't totally surprising - the tissue around the repair continues to get stretched a bit after the scar settles and can be uncomfortable for a while, but it's not a long-term thing. And as he starts to come around he should stay feeling better and therefore be more productive.
Norman (New York, NY)
Would you start Danks today against KC fresh off the DL?
Stephania Bell (4:03 PM)
Norman: Probably not, coming off the oblique. Want to see how he looks - granted against KC, but given the down time, I'm waiting.
Leif (Los Angeles)
With Peyton Manning missing the first part of training camp it looks like he may still be having neck problems. Does this drop him to the 7-10 range in pre season starting QB's?
Stephania Bell (4:06 PM)
Leif: We'll end with a football question given the excitement of a hopeful near-end to the lockout...I wouldn't do anything just yet on Peyton since it's still so early and the report said he could miss a week, two weeks, or the whole camp...which means not very much to me since it's so wide open. I get the sense he wants to reconnect with his own rehab staff, get assessed by them and be confident about where he is rehab-wise before risking anything. Once the guys have been back for two weeks, then things will shake out and we'll have a better idea.
Stephania Bell (4:07 PM)
OK - have a great afternoon everyone. The hour flew by thanks to your great questions and thoughts. Hope to see you here again next week - and you can follow the podcast tomorrow and my updates on Twitter at Stephania_ESPN. Have a great week and stay out of the heat!!