Red Sox SS Story expects to return from elbow injury in 2023
Story had an internal bracing procedure done on his right ulnar collateral ligament as an alternative to Tommy John surgery. The recovery timeline for the procedure is often four-to-six months, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Story, who was expected to slide over to shortstop in the wake of Xander Bogaerts' departure to the San Diego Padres in December, admitted the severity of the injury caught him off guard.
"I was surprised because I was feeling good. Feeling really good," Story said Saturday, according to NESN's Greg Dudek.
"Just frustrated. Obviously, offseason injuries are not fun. Any injuries aren’t fun. But not doing it all on the field is frustrating. I’m just surprised because I was feeling really good at the time."
The 30-year-old is entering the second season of a six-year, $140-million contract. He occasionally struggled during his first campaign in Boston while acclimating to a new position at second base. He also missed time due to hand and heel injuries. Story finished the year with a .238 batting average, 16 home runs, and 66 RBIs across 94 games.
The Red Sox are planning to move Enrique Hernandez over to shortstop in Story's absence. The versatile Hernandez has played seven different positions during his career but only logged 100 games at shortstop.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is optimistic the 31-year-old will handle the move to shortstop well despite a relative lack of experience at the position.
"He’s excited about it," Cora said Friday, according to Boston.com's Conor Roche. "I do believe he can do it. His arm plays. His first step is amazing. His instincts are great. He’s very excited about it."