Story to have shoulder surgery, likely to miss rest of season

April 9th, 2024

BOSTON -- The Red Sox are now bracing for the probability that shortstop won’t play again this season.

Prior to Tuesday’s home opener, chief baseball officer Craig Breslow revealed that Story will undergo surgery later this week to repair a fracture of the glenoid rim in his left shoulder.

“What we’re looking at, it’s probably somewhere in the neighborhood of six months,” Breslow said. “Difficult to speculate specifically beyond that, but you can kind of do the math there.”

The surgery will be performed by noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Friday in Los Angeles.

Story dislocated his left shoulder trying to make a diving stop in Anaheim on April 5.

“I knew it was bad at the moment, as soon as I heard it come out,” Story said. “Just the pain I felt, I had never felt anything like that. You always try to be optimistic and just hope that it went out and would come back in. Just try and make the best of the situation. But obviously some other things happened and it was more serious than I hoped for. It’s hard to imagine.”

After his team’s 7-1 loss to the Orioles, Story fought back tears while dealing with the reality he will miss the majority of a season for the second year in a row. Coming off right elbow surgery, Story played 43 games in ‘23.

“A lot of emotions. Frustrated. Don’t really understand it,” Story said. “The moment is tough and it’s hard to make sense of it.”

The 31-year-old underwent an exam with Red Sox physician Evan O’Donnell on Monday, at which point the club became concerned about the bone structure of Story’s shoulder.

Earlier on Tuesday, manager Alex Cora said that Story would fly to L.A. on Friday to get a second opinion from ElAttrache.

Things changed shortly thereafter. In fact, Breslow made the announcement at a news conference originally scheduled to discuss starting pitcher Nick Pivetta going on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow flexor strain.

“Kind of a recent development here,” Breslow said. “[Story] is in fact scheduled to have surgery after speaking with our medical staff, and getting further confirmation on a second opinion, and Trevor's decision to go forward after we had talked about some concern over the bone structure.”

The loss of Story is a significant one for the Red Sox. He came into Spring Training in top shape after an injury-marred first two seasons in Boston and looked primed to be the team’s No. 3 hitter and mainstay at shortstop.

“Very significant,” Breslow said of the loss of Story. “Not going to hide from what he’s meant to this team defensively, and we had full confidence that offensively he was going to contribute as well. We saw what he could do in Spring Training. I think, fortunately, he's emerged as a leader of this team and there's still going to be a way for him to positively impact it. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem like it's going to be on the field right now.”

At least initially, the Red Sox will replace Story with internal platoons up the middle.

David Hamilton will start at shortstop against righties. Romy Gonzalez, promoted from Triple-A prior to Tuesday’s game, will draw the honors against lefties.

At second base, Enmanuel Valdez will start against righties and Pablo Reyes will get the nod against lefties.

Rookie center fielder Ceddanne Rafaela can also play both middle-infield spots, but it is the preference of the Red Sox to keep the defensive stud in center as frequently as possible.

Another infielder who will soon factor into the equation is Vaughn Grissom, who will start a Minor League rehab assignment on Saturday after spending Spring Training sidelined by left hamstring and groin ailments.

The Sox acquired Grissom to play second base, but there’s a chance he could see some time at short in light of the development with Story.

“Like I said the other day, we’ve got to move on,” said Cora. “I know it sounds hard, but this is the nature of the game. We’re going to miss him, yeah, as a leader, as a player, as a baserunner, as a defender, as a hitter. But we have to move on. Whoever is going to play short that day, just play up to who you are. Don’t try to be Trevor Story. There’s only one of those, and he’s probably not going to play this year.”