“It’s gotten better every single day, and I’m ready to play,” Trevor Story said.
DENVER — Trevor Story is going over the top to get back on the field, altering his throwing motion to take some of the stress off his sore right elbow.
The Colorado Rockies All-Star shortstop returned to the lineup Monday night after missing a week with the ailment. Story batted fifth as the playoff-chasing Rockies opened a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It’s tough just sitting and watching,” Story said. “It’s not ideal. The timing of it was pretty brutal. Just really tried to keep my focus on the treatment and getting better.”
Story tweaked his elbow on a throw in the first inning Sept. 17 in Los Angeles and aggravated it on a swing in the fourth.
“It’s gotten better every single day, and I’m ready to play,” Story said.
Story has been practicing throwing from a more straightaway angle, which cuts down on elbow stress. He also worked on spin moves Sunday in Arizona and said “it felt good,” he said. “There are little things I can do to take pressure off.”
At the plate, the elbow doesn’t really bother him.
“But you can’t say so until the game,” he quickly added.
The 25-year-old Story is in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .288 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs. He recently became the first shortstop in major league history with at least 40 doubles, 30 home runs and 25 steals in a season.
His return couldn’t come at a more opportune time. The Rockies started Monday trailing the NL West-leading Dodgers by 1½ games. It’s a name that manager Bud Black was all too happy to pencil back into the heart of the order behind Nolan Arenado, who has 34 homers and 103 RBIs this season.
“He’s one of our best players. He plays a premium position and hits in the middle of the order. So it’s quite a presence we didn’t have for a week of games,” Black said. “He’s one of our core players and one of best in the National League.”
In other Rockies health news, left-hander Tyler Anderson was scratched from his start after he experienced shoulder soreness and replaced by right-hander Jon Gray. Starter-turned-reliever Chad Bettis is slated to pitch Tuesday.
“We decided to do what’s best for the team,” said Anderson, 6-9 with a 4.76 ERA this season. “It’s frustrating. I want to take the ball every fifth day. I can’t think about that now, I just have to think about getting back as quick as I can.”