With Xander Bogaerts gone, does Trevor Story — who’d spent his entire career at shortstop with the Rockies before playing second base for the Red Sox last season in order to join Bogaerts in the middle infield — have the arm to return to his former position?
Story, who landed on the injured list with the Rockies in 2021 because of right elbow inflammation, saw his arm strength plummet from middle of the pack (82.3-mile-per-hour average, according to MLB.com) to near the bottom of the big leagues in 2021 (79.1 m.p.h.). His arm strength also graded low among second basemen in 2022.
Yet chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom downplayed concerns about Story’s arm, suggesting that he’d shown the ability to make all necessary throws in 2022.
“It’s certainly something we’ve talked about, something we’re aware of. Trevor’s aware of it. It’s obviously not a secret,” said Bloom said Tuesday. “One, we are optimistic that wherever he’s playing, that we’re going to be in a better position with him. Just now having built that relationship, that trust with him, being able to take an entire offseason to get in front of this. But two, his range is just so incredible. We saw, he can make throws on the run. When he has to put a little something on the ball, he can. I just think wherever we put him, he’s going to get to so many balls that it’ll all play.”
Bloom said that Story’s range should make up for any limitations in his arm strength.
“You can only throw a guy out if you get to the baseball first,” said Bloom. “He’s as good at that as anybody.”