In early January, Red Sox veteran shortstop Trevor Story hosted an infield camp for Boston players looking to improve their all-around game.
MLB.com's Ian Browne reported back in September that Story would be hosting a camp this offseason. Story hopes to be a leader to the Red Sox's younger infielders and some in the minor league system, and the inspiration for his camp came from Rockies icon Troy Tulowitzki, who invited Story to an offseason camp of his own when he was in the minors with Colorado.
When interviewing Story about the attendees to his offseason camp, Browne asked about Marcelo Mayer, Story's likely successor at shortstop.
"I'm definitely inviting him," Story said to Browne.
But Mayer wasn't among the Sox pictured at "Camp Story," as the Red Sox have called it. Fans have been speculating about Mayer's absence from the training (to perhaps an unhealthy degree).
Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer had a good reason for missing Camp Story
Over The Monster's Matthew Gross theorized that something could have gone wrong between Story and Mayer to sour their relationship that led Story to rescind his invitation or Mayer to decline. Gross stated these are among the less likely reasons for Mayer missing the camp, and his most likely reason ended up being the correct one.
Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe shed some light on Mayer's nonattendance at the camp, saying the team decided to keep rehabbing his shoulder injury from the 2023 season that caused him to miss a lot of playing time.
After playing through a shoulder injury with the Portland Sea Dogs for months, Mayer was sidelined in September to work on recovery. Mayer was originally slated to attend the Camp Story,but setbacks in his injury recovery barred him from being able to participate, in the Red Sox's eyes.
It was recently reported by WEEI's Rob Bradford that Mayer is "a full go" in terms of his health and that he can participate in Boston's upcoming rookie camp without concern. This should not reflect poorly on his relationship with Story or his absence from the shortstop's camp — it's possible the Red Sox were reluctant to allow Mayer to attend the camp with little to no representation from Boston's athletic training staff if something were to go wrong while he was there.
Boston fans have been jumping to conclusions after another disappointing offseason from the club. It's a popular phenomenon among Red Sox nation to speak negatively about the team or believe disappointing rumors, which makes sense considering the front office's attitude towards this offseason and the few before it. But since Mayer's long-term health was in question here, his nonappearance at Camp Story is fair and justified.
It's reassuring to hear that Mayer and Story are likely on good terms after speculation about the true reason for Mayer's absence from Camp Story. If Story's experience training with Tulowitzki is any indication, the two players will be learning from each other for years to come.