The TrevorEnding Story: needs shoulder surgery, out for the year (4/9 update)

The Gray Eagle

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Okay children, it's Story time.

For this team to do anything, we're really going to need a full, effective season from Trevor Story. He showed at the end of last year that his defense was back, as he was vastly, vastly better than the guys we ran out there all year before his return.

He didn't hit at all last year though, so that's another question mark, in addition to his health.

After a very encouraging spring training, Story has had a slow offensive start to the season, but things started looking better on Tuesday when he cracked a couple of hard fastballs for big hits.

The Glob has a Story on it:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/04/03/sports/trevor-story-red-sox/

In 2023, given his limitations after a lengthy recovery from offseason elbow surgery, he lacked the explosiveness in his swing to do much more than survive. Thus far, the Sox are seeing signs of the player they hope they can pair with Rafael Devers in the middle of the lineup.
“I’m very encouraged,” said hitting coach Pete Fatse. “The zone contact rates on fastballs are right where we’re targeting, around 85 percent. He’s battling. That’s the most important thing.
Last year, Story simply seemed to lack the bat speed, mechanics, and timing to do anything against the huge velocity that seems to be everywhere in the game. He went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts against pitches at 98 m.p.h. or higher last season, making him a mark for hard-throwing relievers late in games.
Despite a strong spring, the first handful of regular-season games in 2024 didn’t afford a glimpse of a different version of story. Tuesday night’s 5-4 extra-inning victory in Oakland did.
“It’s good to see something he couldn’t do last year,” said manager Alex Cora.
Story belted a couple of hard fastballs on Tuesday for big hits, which is really promising.

With a man on third and two outs in the top of the seventh, Story got his hands inside a 98 m.p.h. sinker from righthander Lucas Erceg, lining a game-tying single to right. Even more impressive, two innings later, against the sizzling fastball of Mason Miller, Story choked up and attacked a 101 m.p.h. first-pitch fastball, drilling a double to right for his third hit of the game.
“It’s been a while since I felt that,” Story said. “When I hit the ball on a line to right field with those fastballs, I think that’s a good sign for me. And then, if something’s hung in the zone, maybe I can pull that pitch.
“But that’s always an indicator for me — how those balls are coming off my bat. If they’re coming off on a line to the right side, it’s good for me.”
Best shape of his life? His bat speed at least seems better.
Story invested considerable offseason work in getting to a point where such outcomes would be possible. A year ago, he had to cheat on fastballs, leaving him vulnerable to everything else. This offseason, he not only worked to regain strength (and thus bat speed) but also tried to simplify his mechanics, particularly his leg lift, to be more efficient.
For Story, an up-the-middle approach puts him in position to drive fastballs of elite velocity to the opposite field while pulling breaking stuff to left, an approach somewhat similar to that espoused by J.D. Martinez.
“It may not even be sometimes where you’re getting hits, but you’re just fighting it off to get another pitch. It’s the effects that can have. I think that’s really going to pay dividends long-term. He’s in a good place when he’s using the whole field. It’s just something we’re trying to keep going right now.”
Story finally had a full spring training this year, for the first time with the Red Sox. And he showed leadership and commitment this offseason by hosting "Story Camp" for the young infielders.

https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2024/01/why-red-soxs-trevor-story-held-winter-camp-to-entrench-himself-with-team.html
As promised late in the season, shortstop Trevor Story hosted a handful of young infielders for a group training session near his home in Dallas over the last few days. According to pictures released by the Red Sox, who dubbed the event “Story Camp,” Story was joined by first baseman Triston Casas, middle infielder David Hamilton, new trade acquisition (and Story’s expected double play partner) Vaughn Grissom and second base prospect Nick Yorke. The group worked out in the weight room, played basketball and football, took infield and swung in the cage during their time in Texas. They worked out on the field at Dallas Baptist University and even took in Tuesday’s Mavericks-Grizzlies game.
Despite a couple of bad plays yesterday, his defense has overall looked good again this year. Health and his bat will probably determine what the true Story will be going forward.

There have been some promising signs so far at least.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJWZDa2uxtA


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyBHYH8dq5s
 
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nvalvo

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(Man, the first day without baseball after opening day, and I feel like I have withdrawal — I've watched 6 of the 7 so far.)

I agree with you 100 percent that Story is the most important position player for the 2024 Red Sox. The bull case for this team has always been — even when we thought that they'd add more pitching — that the defense was actually a bigger problem than the pitching; or rather, that it was the terrible defense that made what might have been acceptable pitching into an acute problem by July and August. Despite a sloppy game yesterday, we've been playing a much stronger defensive team out there, with Story, Rafaela, a palpably-improved Valdez, O'Neill replacing Verdugo, and Duran and Yoshida being assigned defensive responsibilities commensurate to their abilities.

And surprise! Our pitching staff has basically stopped walking people altogether! Some of that is Bailey getting buy-in that we need to be ahead in the count all the time, but it's easier for him to convince the pitchers of that with guys like Story and Rafaela standing out there. I suspect that last year our pitchers felt they had to be too perfect and thus nibbled too much, walking too many guys and making it hard to pitch deep into games, in turn running a pretty great bullpen into the ground by late season.

A guy like Crawford, say, has a fastball with insane induced vertical break — like, top ten IVB in the league. He should be hammering that pitch at the letters and daring guys to get under fly balls. With a Duran–Rafaela–O'Neill outfield, that's a pretty good strategy. With a Yoshida–Duran–Refsnyder outfield..., less so. (We've given up a few HR, but that's the cost of being in the zone so much. I expect that will continue — our fortunes will fluctuate with our opponents' HR/FB rate.)

But another acute need is RH offense.

That remark in the article that Story last year was cheating on fastballs checks out. What appeared to us all as an inability to recognize and lay off sliders away makes a lot more sense in that light. How could Story have had the career he's had if he couldn't recognize spin? But no, it's not an inability to recognize spin; it's an inability to recognize spin fast enough for a hitter who needs to get his swing started early because he lacks the bat speed to catch up to good fastballs. If he has some of that bat speed back, that helps him with his swing decisions.

The case for this team making the postseason is that Story posts a 5 WAR season, with almost half of it dWAR. He won't be the AL's starting All Star SS in a universe where Corey Seager exists, but... that would be a huge improvement over what we've been seeing.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Story goes down with a left shoulder injury in game 8 of 162. Didn’t look good.
Guess we’ll see soon how long he will be out for, but this is probably a hugely damaging injury.
 

Mystic Merlin

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See him in like a year I guess? It sucks that a good player they did invest in and was super durable with his prior team can’t stay the fuck on the field.
 

BaseballJones

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Didn't look like much except for the fact that he was writhing in pain. Ugh this sucks.
 

BigSoxFan

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See him in like a year I guess? It sucks that a good player they did invest in and was super durable with his prior team can’t stay the fuck on the field.
I’m confident we can replace his .289 OBP since signing with the Red Sox. Defense will be missed. Bring on the Grissom/Mayer era. Story is nearing sunk cost territory.
 

sodenj5

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No way he isn’t missing some significant time with what looked like a pretty clear dislocation.

I would imagine the bigger issue moving forward is it cropping up again similar to guys like Tatis, who tried playing through his shoulder issue, and ultimately having surgery to fix it.
 

NDame616

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In the interview he was probably on some good pain meds so no sling may be window dressing.

Good news it's his non throwing shoulder so we don't have to worry about more time needed because he has to throw.
Bad news is it's his front hitting shoulder, so it may linger at the plate
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Assuming the worst, what’s our short term and long term options at SS the rest of the way?
Short-term...a combination of Reyes and Rafaela, maybe Gonzalez if he's called up. Long term as in the rest of the season, probably the same with the possibility of making a move at the deadline if the team is in contention and an upgrade is worthwhile. There's also the outside chance we see Mayer if he excels this season.
 

The_Dali

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Well, the good news is that he is “not injury-prone” like I keep reading here. Just freak injuries for him. Right?

jeez. What a blow. Middle infield is going to go from a defensive strength to a question mark. Probably too soon for Mayer, though
 

sezwho

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Assuming the worst, what’s our short term and long term options at SS the rest of the way?
Watching it back I’m still hoping for ‘not the worst’ outcome, maybe naively, but I didn’t really see a super hyper extension. The Story doesn’t have to end this way.
 

Merkle's Boner

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I really hope they consider moving C-Note to SS full-time and letting Duran cover CF. I realize it’s not ideal to move a young kid around but he is unquestionably their best defensive SS and an outfield of O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu will play. I’m not ready for the Pablo Reyes Era. Let Rafaela handle short.
 

Coachster

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I really hope they consider moving C-Note to SS full-time and letting Duran cover CF. I realize it’s not ideal to move a young kid around but he is unquestionably their best defensive SS and an outfield of O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu will play. I’m not ready for the Pablo Reyes Era. Let Rafaela handle short.
And I'm hoping this is the beginning of the Romy Gonzales era in Boston. Leave Rafaela where he is. Duran is such a shitty outfielder....
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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And I'm hoping this is the beginning of the Romy Gonzales era in Boston. Leave Rafaela where he is. Duran is such a shitty outfielder....
Can they afford both Romy and Rafaela in the lineup, though? Granted, it’s not like Story has done much offensively in Boston, but Rafaela at SS gets Abreu in the lineup. They need another bat anyways, I think.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I really hope they consider moving C-Note to SS full-time and letting Duran cover CF. I realize it’s not ideal to move a young kid around but he is unquestionably their best defensive SS and an outfield of O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu will play. I’m not ready for the Pablo Reyes Era. Let Rafaela handle short.
Duran is not a center fielder. He has the wheels but not the baseball IQ. Just this season Rafaella has shown a better understanding of the position than Duran has his entire career.
 

cantor44

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Yeah, this really sucks. Story at short and Rafaela at center - along with the starting pitching - have been the major difference between last year and this. And of the course the two are related. Such a bummer, and hope it's not as bad as it looks.
 
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simplicio

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Can they afford both Romy and Rafaela in the lineup, though? Granted, it’s not like Story has done much offensively in Boston, but Rafaela at SS gets Abreu in the lineup. They need another bat anyways, I think.
You say that like getting Abreu in the lineup is a positive thing. He's looked terrible and Romy's been hot.

Moving Rafaela to SS downgrades 3/4 outfield roles (presuming Duran to CF and Abreu to LF and ____ to backup). Just downgrade SS and keep rolling.
 

richgedman'sghost

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See him in like a year I guess? It sucks that a good player they did invest in and was super durable with his prior team can’t stay the fuck on the field.
A year? I think it looked to be a career ending injury to me. Definitely will need surgery and since he has had 1 surgery already and his age it looks like he's finished as the Trevor Story of the Rockies that we once knew. Instead of the old Trevor Story, we just got an old Trevor Story. Figures.. the one guy the Red Sox spend money on and it doesn't work out.
 

simplicio

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A year? I think it looked to be a career ending injury to me. Definitely will need surgery and since he has had 1 surgery already and his age it looks like he's finished as the Trevor Story of the Rockies that we once knew. Instead of the old Trevor Story, we just got an old Trevor Story. Figures.. the one guy the Red Sox spend money on and it doesn't work out.
Why bother with surgery? It was clearly terminal, let the man live his last hours in peace.
 

simplicio

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Alas no, the effect of cumulative injuries is just too much for a human body to handle at this point.
 

moondog80

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SS is the most important position on the field and Rafaella is the best one they have. Whatever the plan for CF was before Rafaella won the job, do that.

Fingers crossed that last night was just a scare and it doesn’t matter.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Well, the good news is that he is “not injury-prone” like I keep reading here. Just freak injuries for him. Right?
Could be; it’s always hard to say for sure how “freak” an injury is. But don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of his misfortune (or his physical shortcomings) to take a shot at the stupidity of other posters.
 

YTF

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I really hope they consider moving C-Note to SS full-time and letting Duran cover CF. I realize it’s not ideal to move a young kid around but he is unquestionably their best defensive SS and an outfield of O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu will play. I’m not ready for the Pablo Reyes Era. Let Rafaela handle short.
If we go with your suggested OF configuration I might rather see Duran, O'Neill and Abreu left to right.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Mayer is coming off a shoulder injury himself that surely contributed to a lackluster performance in Portland, I can’t imagine they would try to rush him up. If Story is out for the year, I’d probably just trade for a stopgap, Jorge Mateo or someone like that.

Can they afford both Romy and Rafaela in the lineup, though? Granted, it’s not like Story has done much offensively in Boston, but Rafaela at SS gets Abreu in the lineup. They need another bat anyways, I think.
You know who’d really help this team out about now? Teoscar Hernandez. Do yourself a favor and don’t look up what he’s done for the Dodgers so far…
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Whose spot would he have been playing in to this point?
Guessing RF, with Abreu starting the season in the minors, and Rafaela as a utility guy. Adding depth in the offseason was essential when the inevitable injuries come. There were lots of suggestions to add another bat, either an OF or corner infielder, but the constant refrain was that there was no path to playing time and everyone was going to play 150+ games.
 

simplicio

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That's not an upgrade, and Teoscar's not a RF, and making Rafaela a utility guy would be criminal.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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That's not an upgrade, and Teoscar's not a RF, and making Rafaela a utility guy would be criminal.
Teoscar has played the majority of his innings this season in RF, has he not?

Starting the season with Rafaela in a utility / backup role wouldn’t have meant that he remains in that role the entire year. Injuries and underperformance tend to be major factors in a baseball season, and accumulating enough depth is vital.

It’s also not clear at all that Rafaela is ready to be in the majors, either, but there’s really no choice at this point.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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A year? I think it looked to be a career ending injury to me. Definitely will need surgery and since he has had 1 surgery already and his age it looks like he's finished as the Trevor Story of the Rockies that we once knew. Instead of the old Trevor Story, we just got an old Trevor Story. Figures.. the one guy the Red Sox spend money on and it doesn't work out.
Are you an orthopedic doctor someone who specializes in these sorts of injuries? If so can you be more specific with his long term prognosis?

You are right about the rest. They should have seen this freak injury coming a mile away. The lack of foresight into actual outcomes is definitely a failing of this front office/ownership group and humanity in general. Its a problem.
 

cantor44

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That's not an upgrade, and Teoscar's not a RF, and making Rafaela a utility guy would be criminal.
Not necessarily. There are some utility guys who are essentially starters, playing all around the diamond. Having a guy like that can be a core piece to a high quality team. Zobrist in his TB form, and of course the great Tony Phillips.
 

CR67dream

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A year? I think it looked to be a career ending injury to me. Definitely will need surgery and since he has had 1 surgery already and his age it looks like he's finished as the Trevor Story of the Rockies that we once knew. Instead of the old Trevor Story, we just got an old Trevor Story. Figures.. the one guy the Red Sox spend money on and it doesn't work out.
What expertise do you have in the field? He was in pain and writhing on the ground, so his career must be over? Never mind that he wasn't even in a sling post game, they allowed him to talk to the media, and there has been no imaging at all yet.

He's also never had surgery on his left arm/shoulder, is 31, and according to the man himself has never had an issue with it at all up to now. He also said they didn't even know if it popped out, and said if it did, it was "maybe for a second". At this point I'm just as concerned about his labrum as I am the joint itself.

It absolutely sucks and is a big blow to both Story and the Sox, but it's probably a good idea for everyone to take a deep breath until we have an idea of exactly what they're looking at before we wash Story's season, never mind career, down the drain.
 

radsoxfan

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First of all, I would implore people not to post Jesse Morse stuff from Twitter. He is a total fraud in every way, a complete charlatan. Just about the worst source of info out there.

Not this particular tweet, just in a general sense. Limited expertise, bizarro theories, sells unproven snake-oil type stuff. Sorry for the tangent.

Seems pretty likely this was a subluxation/dislocation event for Story. The hope is that the labral tear is minimal, there isn’t a fracture, and it can be managed with rehab. Surgery is fairly likely (Tatis comparison above is good), but if he’s lucky it could be in the offseason.
 
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CR67dream

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Duran is not a center fielder. He has the wheels but not the baseball IQ. Just this season Rafaella has shown a better understanding of the position than Duran has his entire career.
I'm not saying they'll do it, nor am I necessarily advocating for it, but O'Neil in center could work in the short term at least.

Personally, I think getting Romy up here ASAP and letting him play quite a bit makes the most sense right now, but seeing the tweet above, it looks like Hamilton is getting on a plane. If that's the case, I like the Ceddanne at short, O'Neil in center alignment and hope they don't play Hamilton a ton. I guess it's really only for a couple of games, once they're home, and know more, things could change in a hurry.
 

Fishy1

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This is such a bummer. I've seen people lay out like that playing frisbee and break their collarbone.

Hoping it's just a minor shoulder dislocation and he isn't out for long. He was looking a lot more composed at the plate.
 

Fishy1

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Romy still has options, so that's not the reason. Weird to me to bring up Hamilton. Blizzard is fast but doesn't offer much else.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Not Hamilton was my hope too.
Actually, I wanted Romy. Makes me think they’re bringing someone up to be a backup, not a starter.
Agreed, Hamilton is a bad defensive SS. He's barely a 2B. Romy is off to a great start and is on the 40-man and was optioned down, so presumably he could come up and back down.
Sox Prospects on Romy:
https://soxprospects.com/players/gonzalez-romy.htm

Physical Description: Medium, athletic frame. Still has some room to add strength to his upper half even in his late 20s. Hit: Starts in a closed stance with hands held high. High toe tap. Smooth upward swing path. Swing can get long at times. Above-average hands, quick bat. Barrels up well but chases and whiffs at high rates. Fringe-average overall bat tool. Power: Above-average over the fence power. Run: Above-average to better speed. Smart baserunner. Defense: Utility man capable of playing all outfield and all infield positions. Best suited for middle infield. Average to better defender. Solid instincts and baseball IQ.