Trevor Story is inching closer to his long-awaited return to the Boston Red Sox lineup.
The veteran middle infielder will begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Friday and play shortstop, manager Alex Cora told NESN's Jahmai Webster. He has yet to appear in a game this season after undergoing surgery on his right elbow in January.
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Story should stabilize the shortstop position, which has been Boston's biggest weakness this season. Kiké Hernández took over as the starting shortstop in Story's absence but struggled mightily both at the plate and in the field, hitting just .218 with a .598 OPS while leading all MLB shortstops in errors. Hernández's woes have created a revolving door at shortstop with Pablo Reyes, Yu Chang, David Hamilton, and Christian Arroyo each filling in at the position.
Story played second base throughout his debut season with the Red Sox while Xander Bogaerts handled shortstop duties. In 94 games with Boston, the ex-Colorado Rockies star slashed .238/.303/.434 with 16 homers and 66 RBIs.