Farquhar wears protective cap for 1st bullpen session
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar wore a specially designed protective cap Friday during his first spring training bullpen session with the New York Yankees.
Farquhar collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout last April 20 after pitching in the sixth inning against Houston. He was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage, had surgery the next day and was hospitalized until May 7. Farquhar was not cleared to pitch again in 2018, became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league contract with the Yankees.
"I am extraordinarily just thankful," Farquhar said.
He met with doctors and trainers at Steinbrenner Field on Monday to design his hat, which includes Kevlar and foam. After a proper fit was found, it took just two days to create the final product.
"It looks like a hat, it's just two sizes big and it's got like a skully protector on the inside," Farquhar said. "At first when I put it on, it felt a little shallow on my head, like kind of sitting up a little bit. Today it felt like normal baseball hat. It didn't feel anything crazy, so I'd be curious to see if maybe one day MLB mandates it for all pitchers just for the extra protection."
Farquhar threw 27 pitches in front of Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, guest instructor Ron Guidry and rehabilitation pitching instructor Greg Pavlick.
"Baseball's been something I've done since I was five years old," said Farquhar, who turns 32 Sunday. "I remember being in the ICU and wondering when stretch was so I can get back out there and not truly understanding the situation. Honestly, it's my drive, my passion."
He has pitched in 253 games over seven big league seasons, going 10-15 with a 3.39 ERA and 18 saves for Toronto (2011), Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-17) and the White Sox (2017-18).
"Just even getting to know him the first couple days and to see the kind of joy that he has just putting the uniform on again, it's been really neat," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think it's important not to get lost that this is a guy who can pitch, too. I think the first thing for him is, obviously, getting through a full spring training and getting back into that everyday grind of being a ballplayer and being a big league pitcher. We feel like there's a chance he can absolutely help us this year."
Farquhar was 1-1 with a 5.63 in eight innings over eight games last year,
"The support that I have around the league is uplifting is," he said. "It makes me feel like everybody has my back. Words don't express how incredible it makes me feel."
He doesn't know yet when he will face hitters for the first time.
"No fear or trepidation yet," Farquhar said "I haven't had any hurdles to jump, but I'm sure those hurdles will come. Honestly, it's just been working out and throwing more than anything. Haven't had to face a batter. Haven't given up a home run yet. So, I think there's a lot more steps that I still have to go through."
Notes: Reliever Dellin Betances, excused for the birth of his son, is expected to report Monday.