Red Sox infielder Trevor Story is beginning a rehab assignment today, with Ian Browne of MLB.com relaying the details. Story will play five innings at shortstop in Friday’s game before serving as the designated hitter on Saturday and returning to the shortstop position on Sunday.
The shortstop position in Boston has been in flux since it was reported in January that Story had undergone internal brace surgery on his right elbow. They’ve rotated various players through the position in his absence, including Enrique Hernández, Yu Chang, Pablo Reyes and others. The Red Sox have a collective .216/.272/.322 batting line from the position, which translates to a wRC+ of 59, placing them 27th out of the 30 clubs in the league.
Story is a career .268/.336/.513 hitter and would certainly be a boost if he could come back at that level, though it’s no guarantee that he will. He hit .251/.329/.471 in his final year in Colorado and then .238/.303/.434 last year. After missing all of this season so far, it remains to be seen what form he will be in when he gets back. The Sox are currently three games out of a playoff spot and even a diminished version of Story should be an upgrade over the production they’ve had from the shortstop position thus far.
Some more notes from the toughest division in the league…
- The Orioles placed outfielder Cedric Mullins on the injured list earlier this week due to a groin strain, his second trip to the IL this year for that injury. Just the day prior, he had said he was hoping to avoid the IL, which made it fair to expect this stint would be minimal. That may not be the case, however, with Mullins providing more details to the media yesterday. He said that new symptoms emerged once his soreness went away, per Danielle Allentuck of the Baltimore Banner, with no timeline for his return right now. He said he’s hopeful of returning for the back end of the season, per Rich Dubroff of Baltimore Baseball. That murkier timeline is surely an unpleasant development for the O’s, as Mullins continue to be an impact player when healthy. He’s hit .259/.347/.454 this year for a wRC+ of 123 and stolen 14 bases. His progress in the weeks to come will hopefully provide some more clarity but it doesn’t seem like an immediate return is likely.
- Blue Jays reliever Chad Green is set to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. The Jays signed Green in the offseason to a convoluted deal, knowing that he wouldn’t be an option in the first half after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. He’s now rehabbing at an interesting time of the season, with the trade deadline just over the horizon. The righty has 272 appearances under his belt with a 3.17 ERA, 32.5% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate. All contending clubs are looking for relief help at this time of year but Green’s impending return gives the Jays a chance to have that bullpen boost come from within. They are currently 54-43 and tied with the Astros for the second Wild Card spot. Green’s return will also give the club a couple of months to evaluate his status before deciding on the layered option structure of his contract. They first have to decide on triggering a three-year, $27MM option with $1MM in bonuses. If they decline, Green can exercise a 2024 player option with a $6.25MM salary and $2MM in bonuses. If he declines that, the Jays can trigger a two-year, $21MM option with $1MM in bonuses.