Indians manager Terry Francona is feeling better in the wake of going through surgeries and a hospital remain, yet it might be some time before he’s solid enough to rejoin the American League Central leaders.
Francona has missed 23 games in the wake of having surgery for a gastrointestinal issue at the Cleveland Clinic and afterward having difficulties from blood clotting.
Indians president of baseball activities Chris Antonetti visited the 61-year-old Francona at his midtown condo on Friday.
“The good news is he is feeling better,” Antonetti said. “He still is recovering, so it will still be a little while before he rejoins us, but I was real encouraged by the way he looked today and I know he said he’s feeling better, which is all great news.
“But he has been through a lot and he’s in the middle of a recovery, so I still expect it will be some time before he rejoins us.”
Francona had to leave the team a month ago to address a gastrointestinal issue that he’s adapted to for about a year.
Antonetti said Francona was highly complimentary of the job first-base coach Sandy Alomar has done filling in for him. The Indians are 15-8 under Alomar and they lead their division entering a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I’m sure you can imagine [Francona’s] self-deprecating humor in the way he said it,” Antonetti said. “But in all seriousness, he’s been really proud of Sandy and the rest of the coaches. In fact, he highlighted it and said he’s hopeful that Sandy, given this opportunity, will help teams realize just how capable he is to lead a team and a franchise.”
A six-time All-Star catcher for the Indians, Alomar had been a possibility for a few managerial openings previously.
Francona, who won two World Series titles in Boston, is in his eighth season with Cleveland.