'Just frustrating': Story placed on injured list with dislocated shoulder

April 7th, 2024

ANAHEIM -- entered this year optimistic he would finally stay healthy and play his first full season since joining the Red Sox.

Only 10 days into the season, those hopes have been dashed.

The Red Sox announced Saturday before their 2-1 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium that Story dislocated his left shoulder and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, shortstop David Hamilton was recalled from Triple-A Worcester.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow said it is too early to determine whether Story will need surgery or how long he’ll be out. Breslow said Story will see Red Sox team physician Evan O'Donnell in Boston on Monday, and the team hopes to have more information then.

“We're still gathering details but felt like it made sense at this point to put him on the IL,” Breslow said. “I think we'll be in a much better position on Monday to provide some answers to those questions.”

The 31-year-old shortstop left Friday’s game against the Angels in the fourth inning after diving to his right for a one-hopper in the hole and landing hard on his left shoulder. Story remained on the ground writhing in pain for several minutes and eventually walked off the field with his left arm dangling. On Saturday, Story had an MRI that confirmed the extent of his injury.

“Just frustrating,” Story said. “It's not fun getting injured. Kind of a freak thing, but yeah, gonna miss a little time for sure.”

Pablo Reyes replaced Story as the Red Sox’s starting shortstop Saturday against the Angels, going hitless in three at-bats with three strikeouts.

Story signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Red Sox before the 2022 season, but his Boston tenure has been plagued by injuries.

In 2022, Story was limited to 94 games after suffering a hairline fracture in his right wrist and a bruised left heel. In ‘23, he missed the first four months of the season after having right elbow surgery to stabilize the UCL in his throwing arm.

Overall, Story has played in just 145 games across three seasons for the Red Sox, hitting .227/.288/.394 with 19 home runs and 84 RBIs.

“I think we've seen the impact of his defense on the team, on the pitching staff, on the outcomes of games,” Breslow said. “It's early and we still have a lot of information to gather, but I think more than anything, I just feel for Trevor and the road that he's taken to get back here and to put himself in a position to impact our club. So I think in addition to how it affects our team, obviously he's a guy that wants to be out there. [He's] really competitive and I think tired of the injuries.”

The Red Sox have options to replace Story at shortstop, but none of them are proven.

Reyes, 30, is a career backup who has never played more than 71 games in a season. Hamilton, 26, made his Major League debut in 2023 and hit .121 across 15 games and has a history of injuries. He missed his junior season at Texas after tearing his Achilles in an offseason scooter accident, then had season-ending surgery last year to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

One possibility is for the Red Sox to move center fielder Ceddanne Rafaela to shortstop. Throughout his Minor League career, the 23-year-old rookie played shortstop (76 games) in addition to center field (228 games) and started five games at short for the Red Sox last season upon making his Major League debut.

“Everything is in hand,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We're trying to win games here.”

The Red Sox also can dip into their middle infield depth in the Minors. Middle infielder Romy Gonzalez, who played parts of the last three seasons with the White Sox, is batting .375 (9-for-24) with three home runs and 10 RBIs in six games for Worcester.

Prized shortstop prospect Marcelo Mayer, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and Boston's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, opened the season at Double-A Portland, but would likely benefit from more time in the Minors. The 21-year-old has played just 43 games above Single-A and missed the final month of last season with left shoulder inflammation.

The Red Sox’s next steps will become clearer Monday after Story sees O’Donnell, who specializes in shoulder injuries. Until then, they are left hoping for the best.

“We asked all the questions,” Story said. “Still trying to gather all the information and all the opinions from everybody involved. It was a significant injury and I think we're kind of waiting to diagnose it [until] we get all the opinions."