Cleveland's Terry Francona Taking Leave for Rest of 2021 MLB Season Because of Health

Adam WellsJuly 29, 2021

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JULY 07: Manager Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians looks on during game one of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 07, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Cleveland manager Terry Francona is taking a leave of absence for the remainder of the 2021 season. 

The team announced on Thursday that bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over for Francona. 

Francona has dealt with a number of health issues in recent years. He underwent a cardiac ablation procedure midway through the 2017 season that caused him to miss 20 days. 

Sandy Alomar Jr. stepped in as manager for most of last season when Francona had to miss time due to blood-clotting issues that required a surgical procedure to increase his blood flow. 

Speaking to reporters in October, Francona said he also underwent surgery for a gastrointestinal issue. It's unclear if his reason for stepping away this season is related to any of those issues. 

Cleveland hired Francona as manager in October 2012. The 62-year-old had longstanding ties to the organization before taking over as manager. His father, Tito Francona, played for the club from 1959-64. 

After Francona was fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2000 season, he spent the following year working in Cleveland's front office as a special assistant.  

During Francona's nine seasons with the club, Cleveland has a 723-568 record with five playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2016 World Series.