BOSTON — In a perfect world, the Red Sox would be able to trot Trevor Story out to shortstop every day.

There’s no such thing as a perfect world, however.

Story’s tenure in Boston has been defined by injuries thus far. The 30-year-old has played in 108 of a possible 291 games since joining the Red Sox, missing the first four months of 2023 after undergoing elbow surgery in January. It has been a slow grind for him to get back to playing the role Boston envisioned for him when they inked him to a six-year deal in March 2022, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes he’s not far off.

“He’s getting close, I think,” Cora told reporters Saturday. “… He’s bouncing back good. He’s moving well and there’s no issues with the arm.

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“I think his at-bats are a lot better the last four or five days. I think after Washington, he’s driving the ball better, swinging at the right ones. … He’s feeling better. You can tell there’s more balance at the plate. He will chase — he’s chased throughout his career, but hitting the ball in the air is what he does and that was a good swing (Friday).”

“He’s driving the ball better, swinging at the right ones. … He’s feeling better.”

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora on Trevor Story

Story, of course, smoked a home run that scraped over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead in their eventual loss to the Dodgers. It was a swing Cora believes could help something click for the two-time All-Star.

“He hasn’t played too many games (at Fenway Park),” Cora said. “He’ll find out that the (Green Monster) is a lot closer than people think. That will be good for him to pull the ball more.”

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The Red Sox are handling Story’s path back to shortstop carefully, giving him rest days and allowing him to fill the designated hitter role on occasion, keeping him in the lineup while also giving his elbow a respite. It isn’t ideal for Boston, who has been one of the worst defensive teams in Major League Baseball this season and can certainly use him up the middle, but a step they have to take.

In fact, it is exactly what they’ll do Saturday against the Dodgers.

There comes a point, however, where its time to let him play the role he signed up for — a time in which we’re not too far from.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images