AL East Notes: Story, Bogaerts, LeMahieu, Quinn, Schneider

Red Sox infielder Trevor Story has only played 94 games this season due to various injuries and doesn’t have much time left to add to that total. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the earliest Story could come back from the IL is the club’s final series against the Rays, which begins October 3.

Story’s health won’t impact the 2022 season at this point as the club is eliminated from postseason contention, but it will be significant for the 2023 club. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts can opt out of his contract this offseason and is widely expected to do so. Boston will then have to decide on what their middle infield plan is for next year. Extension talks in the spring reportedly didn’t make any progress and Rob Bradford of WEEI relays word from Bogaerts that talks haven’t picked back up as of yet.

The club could theoretically move Story back to shortstop, where he played for years while with the Rockies, and then give second base to Christian Arroyo, Enrique Hernandez, Yu Chang or someone else. However, that plan will come with some uncertainty. Story dealt with shoulder issues in 2021, making 11 throwing errors that year. Some in the industry felt he was better suited to second base, which is where the Sox have had him this year. He seems to have taken well to the position change, racking up five Defensive Runs Saved and 10 Outs Above Average despite barely playing half a season. If the club decides that Story has found a good home at the keystone, they would then have to figure out who’s taking over at short.

Some other tidbits from the AL Beast…

  • The Yankees could activate DJ LeMahieu from the IL tomorrow, per Bryan Hoch of “We’re about at that point of, let’s go give this thing a go,” manager Aaron Boone tells Hoch. LeMahieu has been out of action for more than three weeks due to a toe injury, which put a halt to another fine season at the plate for the 34-year-old. He’s hit .262/.358/.381 for a wRC+ of 117 while providing quality defense at first, second and third base. All told, he’s produced three wins above replacement in the eyes of FanGraphs, making this the eighth straight season of him getting to 1.9 fWAR or higher. The Yankees have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and are virtually guaranteed to finish atop the AL East and earn a bye past the first round. If LeMahieu is indeed able to rejoin the team tomorrow, he will have a week to get some at-bats and get back into game shape before the regular season concludes.
  • Rays outfielder Roman Quinn has joined the Triple-A Durham Bulls to begin a rehab assignment, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Quinn played well in 21 games for the Rays, hitting .262/.340/.305 for a wRC+ of 121 before landing on the IL due to a knee contusion. He hasn’t hit for much in the majority of his time in the big leagues but has always been useful due to his speed and defense. The Rays are likely headed for the postseason as they currently hold the second AL Wild Card spot and could potentially find Quinn’s skillset to be useful off the bench.
  • The Blue Jays fired Charlie Montoyo from his manager role earlier this year and gave John Schneider the position on an interim basis. The Jays have generally fared well since the move, going 41-25 since he was pushed up to the top job in the dugout. That might be enough for the club to simply remove the “interim” tag for next season, though a final decision is not being made public just yet. “He’s certainly a long-term fit,” general manager Ross Atkins tells Keegan Matheson of, though also indicating they will make a formal decision at a later date. Matheson opines that Schneider will be sticking around, though it seems official proclamations will have to wait.

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