Trevor Story to Miss Time Due To Elbow Injury
The Boston Red Sox got some bad news today as Trevor Story, their starting second baseman, will miss 4-8 months due to internal brace surgery on his right elbow. MassLive’s Chris Cotillo first reported the news first on Twitter.
This is a massive blow to the team, as Story was poised to make a significant impact for the Red Sox in 2023 after an injury-plagued first season in Boston. However, those plans will be put on hold for at least the first half of the season. (Possibly more)
What This Means For The Roster
The injury means there is no clear starter at either shortstop or second base for the Red Sox on Opening Day. Manager Alex Cora doesn’t have many options to choose from— Enmanuel Valdez and Christian Arroyo are two potential replacements. But Valdez doesn’t have experience playing at the major league level, and Arroyo has served as a bench piece for most of his career.
What Are Chaim Blooms Options
Chaim Bloom will likely need to look toward free agency or trade to fill this need. With Correa reportedly agreeing to a deal with Minnesota today, the two best remaining free agents up the middle are Jose Iglesias and Elvis Andrus. Both come with over a decade of experience at shortstop, which would allow Arroyo to move to second base.
The trade market is a bit more tricky, given the Sox want to avoid dealing any of their top prospects. Miguel Rojas is a name that has been floated around, who is excellent defensively, but not much of a hitter.
Personally, I see free agency as the most likely route to fill the need before Opening Day. Though, you can never rule out a trade for a potentially more controllable piece. But that seems unlikely, given their current position.
My Thoughts (What I Would Do)
I would sign Jose Iglesias and have him play shortstop, with Christian Arroyo playing second base to begin the season. If Trevor Story returns from injury in 2023, you can move Arroyo to the bench and have Story go back to second base.
It’s not worth trading any of your top young assets for a team that might not be in a position to win. Teams know you’re in desperate need of a middle infielder and will ask for the moon. Just try and find a stop-gap shortstop so you can have Arroyo play second base. It’s not a great situation to be in, but it’s the unfortunate reality.
Potential Lineup Due To Trevor Story Injury
1. Masataka Yoshida – LF
2. Christian Arroyo – RF
3. Rafael Devers – 3B
4. Justin Turner – DH
5. Triston Casas – 1B
6. Kikè Hernandez – CF
7. Alex Verdugo – 2B
8. Reese McGuire – C
9. Jose Iglesias – SS
What worries me about this lineup is the lack of power, so-so defense, and the number of left-handed batters. You’ll need Arroyo to step up and play well for at least the first half of the season, and hope rookie Triston Casas can provide a spark. Yoshida also remains a question mark until he proves he can hit major-league pitching, though I think he’ll eventually settle in nicely.
You could also get something from Emanuel Valdez, the infield prospect acquired in the Christian Vasquez deal. Though he hasn’t played at the major league level yet, he could earn a spot with a nice performance in Spring Training.
Wrap-Up: Looking Ahead
It looks like the Red Sox will be facing an uphill battle to begin the 2023 season with the loss of Trevor Story. When you factor in the loss of Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, the Boston middle infield is just about nonexistent at the moment.
Believe it or not, pitchers and catchers will arrive at Spring Training in a little over a month. So if moves are going to be made, they need to be done relatively soon. Not the news Red Sox fans wanted to hear to begin 2023.
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