Trevor Story appears to be playing his final series as a member of the Colorado Rockies.
Story is slated to become a free agent following the season, so the Friday series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix is likely one of his last three in a Rockies’ uniform.
The 28-year-old shortstop has hit 158 homers in 743 games over six seasons with Colorado. The two-time All-Star has topped 20 homers five times, including 37 in 2018 and 35 in 2019.
It once seemed Story and third baseman Nolan Arenado would be manning the left side of the infield through most of this decade. However, Arenado had a falling out with management that led to his trade to the St. Louis Cardinals last season, and now Story is also perceived to be a goner.
In the Wednesday home finale against the Washington Nationals, right fielder Charlie Blackmon pointed to Story to take the field first at the start of the game. Then Blackmon prevented his teammates from following, leaving Story to receive an ovation alone.
“I wasn’t aware — it got me by surprise,” Story said afterward. “‘Chuck’ got me good there. I should’ve known something was up. But that means a lot. I really appreciate that.”
Story is batting .253 with 24 homers and 74 RBIs in 140 games this season. He is making a base salary of $17.5 million and is well aware the shortstop price market has exploded after first Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million) and later Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) landed hefty deals last offseason.
The one thing that repeatedly hits Story is that the Rockies missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
“Like I’ve always said, winning is at the top of the list,” Story said. “For me, culture, fit, geography, all of it goes into it. But winning has always meant the most to me. This is a chance for me to see where that’s at.”
The Rockies (73-85) have won their last two games following a five-game slide.
Arizona (50-109) lost 5-4 to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, its fourth straight defeat and 24th in the past 30 games.
The Diamondbacks are just two setbacks away from matching the franchise-worst 51-111 mark set in 2004.
Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner made his last start of the season on Thursday and gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings in a no-decision.
More to his liking were the multiple loud ovations he received from San Francisco fans who recall his time as a key figure on three World Series title teams.
“It was really cool,” said Bumgarner, who is in his second season with Arizona after 11 with the Giants. “This place, I’ve said it a bunch, it means a lot to me and my family. I don’t take that for granted by no means. I enjoyed that and I’m very thankful for that.”
Right-hander Humberto Castellanos (2-2, 4.28 ERA) will make his seventh start and 14th appearance of the season for the Diamondbacks.
The 23-year-old rookie lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last turn, giving up three runs and five hits over five innings on Sept. 24.
Castellanos started against the Rockies on July 7 and yielded just four hits over four scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Jon Gray (8-12, 4.28 ERA) will take the mound for Colorado. The 29-year-old right-hander has lost two straight decisions and six of his past seven.
Gray fell to the Giants in his last turn, giving up four runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings on Saturday. He struck out five without issuing a walk.
Gray is 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA in five 2021 starts versus Arizona and stands 5-7 with a 5.17 ERA in 17 career outings against Arizona.
David Peralta (17-for-40, .425), Ketel Marte (10-for-27, .370) and Christian Walker (7-for-21, .333) all have hit well against Gray.
–Field Level Media