BOSTON — Ceddanne Rafaela already has proven his game-changing defensive ability in just 11 games this season.

Rafaela, who made the jump from one of Boston’s top prospects to the team’s starting center fielder in 2024, has played 81 1/3 innings and started nine of Boston’s 11 games thus far. He’s added three innings over two games at second base. And that was after he proved to be a versatile piece with starts at shortstop (five) and second base (one) late last season.

The Red Sox now have a hole at shortstop with Trevor Story set to undergo shoulder surgery in Los Angeles on Friday. The recovery timeline of six months indicates Story, who fought through tears in the clubhouse Tuesday night, likely will be out for the remainder of the season.

Might Rafaela be able to take over for Story at shortstop? Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow didn’t slam the door shut on that idea but said Rafael’s primary position would remain center field.

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“Alex (Cora) and I are having these conversations, they’re ongoing,” Breslow said before Boston’s 7-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on an emotional day at Fenway Park.

“We know the way he can impact the defensive side of the game, in multiple positions. I think he’ll get reps at second base, he’ll get reps at shortstop. But it’s really difficult to take him out of center field.”

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Cora on Tuesday laid out the plan. Boston will platoon shortstops with David Hamilton set to play against right-handed pitchers and Romy González, who was called up Tuesday, to play against left-handers. And at second base, Pablo Reyes will play against righties and Enmanuel Valdez against lefties.

Vaughn Grissom will begin a rehab assignment and continue to be developed as a second baseman, Breslow said.

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“I think right now we’re committed to giving the internal options a chance,” Breslow said in regards to replacing Story. “I think it works out fairly well in terms of having left-handed and right-handed platoon options at both middle infield positions.

“I think it makes sense to let this play out a bit and we’ll continue to evaluate.”

As the Red Sox continue to evaluate, maybe they will see Rafaela as their best shortstop option. But as it currently stands, the electrifying outfielder, who reportedly has agreed to an extension with the team, will remain in the grass.

Featured image via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images