Alex Cora essentially says Trevor Story is irreplaceable as Red Sox clubhouse leader

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Since Trevor Story exited the Boston Red Sox's lineup on April 5, their defense has been the worst in MLB.

Whether it's a lack of confidence in their capabilities without the veteran or if the team is demoralized by the slew of injuries it's dealing with, Boston has shot off on one of the most outrageous defensive turnarounds in recent memory. Early in the season, the Red Sox posted a few clean defensive sheets but their recent blunders have put them on a league-worst 162-error pace.

On an episode of WEEI's "Jones and Mego" show, skipper Alex Cora was asked who the "emotional leader" of his squad is with Story on the sidelines. Cora's answer did not point to a player.

"Besides a player it's the manager that has to do that. Understanding the room is the most important thing," Cora said.

The manager went on to say that the clubhouse leader has changed multiple times through his tenure with the Red Sox. He listed Mookie Betts, Kyle Schwarber and Kiké Hernández as former clubhouse captains. It took Cora a minute, and a little prodding by co-host Meghan Ottolini, to remember that Xander Bogaerts had a significant impact on that front too.

The manager pointed to Rafael Devers as an on-field leader, but the third baseman is not fluent in English, or he's not confident in his English-speaking abilities, which may hinder him from taking on a true captain-like role in the clubhouse.

The Red Sox's clubhouse lacks direction without "emotional leader" Trevor Story

Regardless, Cora's comments reveal a deeper issue with the Red Sox — the team lacks star power and experience. There are so few veteran players in the clubhouse that younger ones don't have anyone to turn to besides their manager.

Boston's chief baseball officer Craig Breslow has praised Cora for the culture he's helped to create in the clubhouse. But that responsibility should not rest solely on a manager. There should be veteran players on the team that others can turn to for advice, but the Red Sox's roster changes so constantly that it's an impossibility.

Story's absence shows that Boston has a lot of work to do before the team can improve in the American League East's ranks. Without veteran players to guide the young Red Sox on their journey through the big leagues, the front office can't reasonably expect them to get very far in the regular season, let alone the playoffs.

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