The Indians announced this evening that manager Terry Francona will take a leave of absence from the team to address health concerns. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will assume interim managerial duties for the remainder of the season. Hale was named Cleveland’s bench coach last November and has managed four games at the major league level (with the Blue Jays in 2015-16).
Francona is going for a hip replacement next week and will also need to undergo foot surgery in the coming months, reports Mandy Bell of MLB.com (Twitter link). Given those health issues, he obviously didn’t feel capable of continuing in his current capacity over the season’s final two months.
The veteran skipper also missed a significant amount of time last season on account of health concerns. There’s no indication the 62-year-old will not return to the Cleveland managerial chair next year, however. He has led the team since October 2012, winning three consecutive AL Central titles from 2016-18. MLBTR wishes Francona the best in his recovery.