Cruel Story injury risks derailing special season for the Rockies

Trevor Story might be out for the rest of the season with damage to his UCL in his right elbow, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Story had played himself into MVP contention in the National League, combining power with range at shortstop and elite speed. With the Rockies on the charge in the National League West, this would be a massive blow to their chances of securing a postseason berth for the second season running.

In a less than stellar Colorado line-up, Story has been the standout contributor alongside the ever-brilliant Nolan Arenado. Story has already broken a collection of franchise records on his way to a .288 batting average with over 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Options to fill in at short are thin for Colorado. Ian Desmond could move there, but the organisation may be reluctant to do that. Pat Valaika has the glove to play the position, but he offers nothing offensively. Ideally, MLB Pipeline’s number six prospect, Brendan Rodgers, would fill in, but that seems unlikely as he was recently withdrawn from the Arizona Fall League roster.

As is always the case with UCL injuries, Tommy John surgery looms large. Story’s recovery would be quicker than it would be for a pitcher, such as Michael Kopech or Shohei Ohtani, but he would still likely miss some of next season.

Colorado are currently playing a series against the Dodgers. That series could make or break their 2018. This is a huge blow for the Rockies’ playoff push, and, even if they do make it to the postseason, it leaves them drastically weakened.

The National League West has been, and should be, the most interesting division in September. This injury jeopardises that. While this is a gut-punch for the Rockies, this is a shame for baseball.

Story is one of the sport’s best young players, he produces highlight reel plays at the plate, on the bases and with the glove. Baseball needs its stars. It needs speed, it needs power, and it needs the best players playing meaningful baseball. Story’s injury looks like it will deprive us of that, and might bring an end to what could have been an epic race out West.

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Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play. Twitter: @SamRCox_