CHICAGO — As Danny Farquhar drove from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to his home in California, he realized that his playing days were over. He had to make the transition to a new job.
Farquhar gave it all in his attempt to make it back to the majors after suffering a ruptured aneurysm that resulted in a brain hemorrhage last year. He joined the New York Yankees on a minors deal, and pitched twice for their Triple-A team, allowing seven runs over three innings.
The Yankees ultimately released Farquhar in June.
“I was just watching the guys throw, they were throwing really good and really hard, and I realized how far behind I was,” Farquhar said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. “I put in a year-plus of work, busted my butt to get to this point. I was just really far behind.
While making that long drive, Farquhar considered the possibility of transition to a coaching position. He reached out to Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, which got the ball rolling, and has now joined the team as a minor league pitching instructor beginning Aug. 7.
“It’s a very special opportunity I’ve been given to continue my coaching career and I’m really excited,” Farquhar said. “One of those things where they’re letting me get my foot in the water in 2019, send me to Birmingham to learn from [the coaches] and see what the other side is about.”
Farquhar’s attempted comeback was one of the most inspiring storylines in baseball after he nearly died after collapsing in the White Sox dugout last April. He underwent surgery, and despite the odds being against him, attempted to return to the majors.
The past year has been filled with highs and lows for the 32-year-old, who posted a 3.93 ERA in his career spanning seven seasons and four teams.
“There’s definitely the downs, waking up in the ICU and just like realizing, holy cow, you just had a life-changing event and I’m awake there and we don’t know if you’re going to be able to play, we’re not sure how you’re going to play,” Farquhar said. “There’s the highs when I threw out the first pitch with White Sox last year. I’m back on the baseball field and playing baseball, the lows again when you get released. Everything gets put into perspective. I have a greater appreciation of how short our life is and how quickly things can come to an end.”
Farquhar has been at home in California while he waits for his new job to begin, and said that he feels great and healthy. He will start with the team’s Double-A Birmingham quad.
“I’m completely at peace,” Farquhar said of retiring. “The injury affected me more than I was willing to accept. I never want to be [thinking) you can’t do this, I always want to push through.”
The partnership with the White Sox made perfect sense for the lefty since he “loved” his time with the White Sox from 2017-18, and developed strong relationships during that time. He appreciated how they treated him while he recovered from the injury.
Chris Getz, Chicago’s director of player development, played a large role in making this coaching dream become a possibility.
“I love them for it,” Farquhar said. “I’m happy to be back.”
And the White Sox are happy to have him.
“Backing up to last year, we had Danny and he showed us some very interesting perspectives on his knowledge of the craft,” White Sox executive VP Kenny Williams said. “He’ll be a welcomed addition for us. This is something that started when he was in uniform, not when he left us.”
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