It was less than a year ago on April 20 when RHP Danny Farquhar suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm, causing him to collapse in the White Sox's dugout. He was immediately taken to a hospital, where he remained for 17 days before he was discharged with the knowledge that he eventually would be able to pitch again, though not in the 2018 season.
Fast forward to Friday, when Farquhar threw his first bullpen session with the Yankees, who signed Farquhar to a minor league deal less than a month ago. His bullpen received much fanfare, and even though it was just a Spring Training bullpen session, the moment wasn't lost on Farquhar.
"Just to think 10 months ago that I would be here, you don't know," Farquhar said. "I am extraordinarily thankful."
Farquhar is medically cleared but will wear a protective hat which he says kevlar and foam.
"I'm gonna have to increase my strikeout rate so they don't hit the ball as much," Farquhar joked. "So you just gotta trust in the doctors that what they're putting me in is gonna protect me."
The Yankees' bullpen is stacked with holdovers like Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Chad Green, the re-signing of Zack Britton and the addition of Adam Ottavino. There's also the likes of Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle. But Farquhar, who has 272.1 MLB innings under his belt, will have a chance to show the Yankees this spring that he's worth keeping on the 25-man roster.
"I think it's important to understand that this guy can pitch," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He'll certainly have some opportunities and I think the first thing for him is getting through a full spring training and getting back into the everyday grind of being a big-league pitcher. We feel there's a chance he could absolutely help us this year."