Indians manager Francona to miss 3-game series against Twins

Getty Images

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians may be without manager Terry Francona even longer than expected.

Francona has already missed 15 games with a gastrointestinal issue, and Chris Antonetti, the team’s president of baseball operations, disclosed Tuesday that the 61-year-old manager has also been dealing with blood clotting problems.

Antonetti said doctors at the Cleveland Clinic inserted a stent last week to help Francona’s blood flow “around what was a clogged filter in his veins.”

Francona is currently recovering in his downtown apartment and Antonetti said there is no timetable on when he’ll back.

The Indians had ruled him out for at least this three-game series against the Minnesota Twins, but Antonetti indicated it could be some time before the two-time World Series champion can return.

“The outlook is obviously very good, but he’s banged up from the procedure,” Antonetti said. “He’s in the process of recovering but he’s still pretty sore – in fact, very sore. That’s not unexpected, but it will just take him a little while to feel better.

“So, he’s on the path to recovery, but it may take a little bit of time for him to get back into the dugout.”

After hosting the Twins, the Indians travel to St. Louis and Kansas City.

While Francona’s been away, first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has filled in for him and Cleveland’s staff has undergone other changes. Bench coach Brad Mills opted out before the shortened season began for family reasons and hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo stepped away earlier this month because of COVID-19 concerns.

Francona has undergone numerous procedures over the past year to address gastrointestinal issues. He’s missed time in past seasons with other medical problems.

Francona, who won two championships with the Boston Red Sox, is in his eighth season with the Indians. He’s signed with Cleveland through the 2022 season.

He began managing Philadelphia in 1997 and has a career record of 1,684-1,421.

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN on opening day

Getty Images

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.

Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.

“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”

Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.

Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.

“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.

Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.