Terry Francona’s medical issue isn’t COVID-19 related, but we don’t know when he’ll be back with the Indians
The Cleveland manager left the team before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, citing a gastrointestinal issue. Francona is set to undergo a series of tests in Cleveland to determine the root cause of the issue, but as of now, there is no timetable for his return to managing. In his absence, first-base coach Sandy Alomar will take over as skipper.
“That’s not our expectation at this point,” Cleveland’s president of baseball operations Chis Antonetti said, per ESPN. “But as I’ve shared and have been pretty consistent, our first priority will always be Tito’s health and well-being and whatever puts him in the best position to be healthy and feel better, that will always take priority. But that’s not our expectation at this point.”
Francona isn’t happy about missing time from the team, but he understands why it’s necessary
This isn’t the first time Francona has had to miss time with the Indians, as he sat out a game last year as he underwent eye surgery. In 2017, Tito missed three games to address an irregular heartbeat. At 61, health issues are just something Francona has to deal with from time-to-time, and surely the Cleveland organization and fanbase understands.
“He’s not happy about it, but he understands it’s the right thing to do,” Antonetti said. “He wants to feel better, and that’s what we all want and for him to get back to doing what he loves, which is managing the team every day, and hopefully that can happen in the not-too-distant future.”
At 5-6, the Indians have managed a mediocre start to the 2020 season, and that includes a red-hot couple of outings from Shane Beiber. Without their skipper and leader, the Tribe will need more standout performances from their top performers in hopes of keeping pace with the Minnesota Twins.