Rockies activate All-Star Story from IL

July 3rd, 2019

DENVER -- The return of All-Star shortstop for Tuesday night’s 9-8 loss to the Astros, after an 11-game absence with a right thumb sprain, puts the Rockies at full strength -- something they’re rarely been this season, yet they have hovered in postseason contention.

“We feel like it’s been an up-and-down year,” said Story, who went 2-for-5 and is hitting .296 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs. “We haven’t clicked on both sides of the ball like we’ve wanted to. We did for a little bit, but we feel like our best baseball is ahead of us. That’s encouraging. That’s what we’re leaning on.”

Not only did the Rockies start 3-12, but at one point in April, first baseman Daniel Murphy (fractured left index finger), second baseman Ryan McMahon (left elbow sprain), outfielder David Dahl (core) and catcher Chris Iannetta (right lat strain), who divides starts with Tony Wolters, were on the injured list at the same time. Add in Charlie Blackmon (right calf strain) in late May and early June, and these six players missed a total of 75 man games.

Story, Blackmon and Dahl will join third baseman Nolan Arenado at the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard, in Cleveland on July 9 at 5:30 p.m. MT on FOX.

Even though the number of injured players has been high, manager Bud Black noted that the injuries have not been lengthy enough to be devastating. Murphy’s 20 games and Iannetta’s 16 were the longest absences.

“We haven’t had those long ones, which is a good thing,” Black said. “Our health right now is in good shape.”

Story, who made the National League All-Star team for the first time last season, also has 66 runs, 12 steals and a .905 OPS in 2019.

Story had a two-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque and felt that the thumb was not a problem.

“I feel like I’ve been doing things to stay up to par with that, but obviously it’s a little different when you step into the box,” Story said. “All I was focused on was how my thumb was feeling. It felt good, felt solid, nothing out of the ordinary.”

To accommodate Story's return, the Rockies optioned righty starter Chi Chi Gonzalez to Albuquerque. Gonzalez (0-1, 6.00 ERA in two starts) returned to the Majors for the first time since 2016 with the Rangers, before he underwent Tommy John right elbow surgery. The Rockies can go with four starters until the All-Star break.