Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Wednesday, manager Alex Cora said before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Story has been sidelined since July 12, when he was hit in the right hand by an 89 mph sinker from Rays starter Corey Kluber. After X-rays came back negative, Story was diagnosed with a right hand contusion. The Red Sox were hopeful that he would avoid the injured list but placed him on the 10-day IL four days later.
Nearly two weeks after being placed on the injured list, Story began to swing a bat again. But the right-handed hitter still complained of discomfort and was unable to grip a bat properly. That prompted the Red Sox to send Story to get a second opinion from a hand specialist, who diagnosed the 29-year-old with a small hairline fracture near his right wrist.
Following that diagnosis, Story was shut down from swinging for 10-14 days. He resumed swinging earlier this month and progressed to the point where he was hitting off a tee before joining the Red Sox on their most-recent road trip last week.
While with the club in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, Story hit indoors off a high-velocity pitching machine. On Tuesday afternoon, he told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier that he took batting practice on the field for the first time breaking his wrist.
With the WooSox on the road this week, Story will join the Sea Dogs in Portland for their series against the Hartford Yard Goats. Cora was not sure how many games or at-bats Story would need before being cleared to return to the Red Sox.
Story, who signed a six-year, $140 million deal with Boston in March, was batting .221/.289/.423 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 105 strikeouts over 81 games (342 plate appearances) at the time of his injury.
Coming into this season, Story had never played second base in his six seasons with the Rockies. Despite that lack of experience, the two-time All-Star currently ranks first among all American League second baseman in Defensive Runs Saved (8) and third in Outs Above Average (9), per FanGraphs.
Taking that into consideration, Cora indicated on Tuesday that once Story is back, “there’s a good chance” Christian Arroyo will slide over to first base after holding down the fort at second during Story’s absence.
(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)