Spring training has not even begun and the Boston Red Sox are set to be missing a key piece of their lineup.
According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, Story underwent surgery to put a brace in his right elbow to stabilize his ulnar collateral ligament, the same ligament that involves Tommy John surgery.
Boston Red Sox lose key part of infield mix
Story’s absence is the worst case scenario for the Red Sox at shortstop. He had been viewed as a possible backup plan in case Xander Bogaerts departed in free agency, something that happened this offseason. As expected, Story was slated to move from second back to short, putting another All Star caliber player at the position.
There were some concerns even before Story’s injury was known. He had missed significant time last year after being hit in the right hand and later was lost for the season due to a bruised heel. He had been a disappointment with the bat in his first season in Boston as well, posting a .238/.303/.434 batting line with 16 homers and 22 doubles in his 396 plate appearances. He was a perfect 13-13 in stolen bases, adding another element to the lineup, but the Red Sox had expected more.
There were also some concerns about his ability to handle short. His arm strength had dissipated to the point where even his throws from second were in the lower end of the majors. This injury to his elbow likely cause those issues throwing and could have been a factor in his problems at the plate last year.
Meanwhile, this injury puts the Red Sox in a tough spot. Elvis Andrus may be the best option in free agency, something that speaks volumes to the lack of quality options at the position. Enrique Hernandez or Christian Arroyo could move to short, but that leaves a hole in another spot in the lineup. It is possible that the Red Sox seek help on the trade market, something that would make sense as they have been linked to Joey Wendle and Miguel Rojas this offseason.
The Boston Red Sox have already suffered a major blow before the 2023 season began. Trevor Story is set to miss significant time due to his elbow injury.