Cleveland manager Terry Francona is stepping away from his post for the remainder of the season because of health-related concerns, the team announced Thursaday. The move is effective immediately, with bench coach DeMarlo Hale serving as the interim skipper.
Here's what Francona is dealing with, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic:
Francona is expected to undergo toe and hip surgeries. He has worn a walking boot all season, following a 10-day stint in January at the Cleveland Clinic to resolve a staph infection in his left big toe. He missed much of last season because of gastrointestinal trouble and blood-clotting issues, which required a series of three surgeries in four days and a stay in the intensive care unit.
Francona, 62, is in his ninth season in Cleveland and in his 21st season overall as a manager. Prior to taking over Cleveland, he had stints with the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. Overall, Francona has a 1,752-1,483 record as a manager (.542 winning percentage) to go with two World Series titles and three pennant wins, the latest occurred with Cleveland in 2016. (Cleveland lost to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.)
Francona recently passed Mike Hargrove for the second-most managerial wins in franchise history. He ranks third overall in games managed, behind Hargrove and Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau.
Cleveland entered Thursday with a 50-49 record on the year, good for second place in the American League Central. Alas, that still leaves the club 8 1/2 games back in the division, as well as five games back in the hunt for the second wild card position.