Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping away from the club for the remainder of the season to address multiple medical issues, Cleveland’s president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti announced Thursday. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will manage the team in Francona’s place.
Francona, 61, recently moved into second place on the Indians’ all-time managerial wins list with 723 victories, moving past Mike Hargrove (721) and stands just six shy of passing Lou Boudreau (728).
Indians players and staff were informed of Francona’s absence just before boarding a flight to Chicago at 6:45 p.m. for their weekend series against the White Sox.
Last season Francona managed only 14 games during the pandemic-shortened season due to blood clots and related issues. First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. served as acting manager in Francona’s place. He returned to the dugout this season, managing all but four games.
Francona missed part of a weekend series against Toronto while attending his youngest daughter’s wedding in May, and two more games against Tampa Bay last week while battling a head cold.
Francona underwent surgery on his left big toe in January for a staph infection. He’s worn a walking boot since the surgery that has made it difficult for him to get around. He had his right hip replaced in 2016 after the team’s World Series run.
In 2017, Francona missed time after undergoing a cardiac ablation procedure at Cleveland Clinic. Then-bench coach Brad Mills managed the 2017 All-Star Game in Francona’s place, and the manager returned to the club on the road in San Francisco after the break.
Hale, 60, served as bench coach for Francona in Boston for six seasons from 2006 through 2011. He joined Cleveland this season after two years in Atlanta’s player development department and as an interim first base coach for the Braves.