Trevor Story has right elbow surgery

BOSTON — The image of the Red Sox midfielder became even more hazy on Tuesday afternoon, when the club announced that infielder Trevor Story had successfully undergone an internal reinforcement procedure for the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow Monday. Dr. Keith Meister performed the operation at the Texas Metroplex Institute in Arlington, Texas.

During a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday, Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said Story began experiencing elbow pain as he increased his throws just before Christmas.

“We’re not ready to set a timeline yet,” Bloom said. “I certainly wouldn’t rule out a return in 2023. But that’s also not something at this stage that we want to bet on. It will take how long it will take. We want to make sure he’s 100% But this is definitely the internal splint procedure and not a Tommy John [surgery]this leaves the door open for a return this season.

In the first season of his six-year contract with Boston, Story was limited to 94 games after missing time in July with a right hand contusion and then in September with a left heel contusion. Although Story’s elbow did not place him on the 2022 injured list, the 30-year-old did make a stint at IL due to inflammation in his right elbow while with the Rockies. in 21.

In addition to his injury history, a recent drop in speed has raised flags around Story. After his move from shortstop to second base, Story’s average throwing speed increased from 79.1 mph in 21 to 76.1 mph last season.

“Obviously recognizing that his throwing hasn’t been what it has been in the past, everything we did physically when we signed him looked good and he felt good throughout. of the season,” Bloom said. “This, what he experienced in this incident, was something new.”

Despite the speed issues, Story was the likely candidate to take over at shortstop after Boston lost Xander Bogaerts to the Padres via free agency this offseason. Bloom said that as Story increased his throws, he was preparing to become the everyday shortstop.

“Until you saw how the offseason went, it was still an open question where we hadn’t set anything in stone,” Bloom said, “but he was preparing to play the stoppage. – short. And for him, it’s something he wanted to do with us.

“Obviously his hope was that if Xander left, it would be an opportunity he got, and that’s where his head was. Understanding that he was always going to do what we thought was best for him. team and there were certain ways the roster could come out where he would be our second baseman, but his mindset was to get ready to play shortstop.

Now the Red Sox are left with two gaping holes in their infield after a final berth in the American League East in 2022.

So, with Spring Training just over a month away, what does this news mean for the roster?

“It means there’s more to do,” Bloom said. “We already wanted to strengthen the midfield obviously, even when Trevor was healthy, that was the case. We were lucky to have him and Kiké [Hernández] like good options that covered us in different ways. Obviously, Kiké can still do that, but it’s an area we definitely want and need to add.

Minus Story, the players currently on the 40-man roster have combined for 112 career starts at shortstop:

Hernández and Arroyo remain options to fill the position, although moving Hernández to the infield would require Boston to make an addition to the outfield. And Arroyo’s injury story is causing concern.

If Boston goes the outside leasing route, six free agent shortstops remain in the market, including Jose Iglesias — who played four seasons with Boston, most recently in 2021.

“I would expect we would add,” Bloom said. “Frankly, that was my expectation even before that. Whether it’s through free will or through trade, I don’t know what it looks like yet, who it is.

“Obviously this is something we were already actively discussing even before that. And now we’re a man down, so we’re going to have to fortify ourselves more. We were always expecting some form of outside additions to join our group of position players and they still are.

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