“It’s shocking. It’s sad.”
Don Cooper’s two-sentence assessment of the feeling in the White Sox clubhouse was as apt as any.
White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar remains in critical condition at RUSH University Medical Center after suffering a brain hemorrhage in Friday night’s game against the Houston Astros. Farquhar passed out in the dugout in the sixth inning and was carried out and taken to the hospital. Saturday morning, the team updated his status, saying that tests revealed that a ruptured aneurysm caused the brain bleed and that he’s undergoing continued treatment.
His teammates and coaches offered their thoughts and prayers as they got ready to play another game Saturday night, baseball certainly not the most important thing on their minds.
“It crushes us in this clubhouse,” pitcher James Shields said. “And nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens, you know? When you see one of your brothers go down like that, it’s not very fun to watch, and he’s such a resilient human being and we’re praying for him. We hope everything goes well with that.
“Baseball doesn’t matter when it comes to something like that. All that matters is family and life, and like I said, he’s a brother of ours, he’s a great teammate and you don’t ever want to see one of your brothers go through something like that. We’re praying for him.”
Farquhar, who joined the White Sox in the middle of last season, has a clubhouse reputation as a good guy, a funny guy who has made a positive impression on his teammates.
“He’s awesome. Teammate, clubhouse guy, all-around just a great guy, good family guy. Just a good friend,” pitcher Hector Santiago said. “Just kind of sucks how everything just went down like that, unexpected like that. It’s something you can’t control. I mean he just pitched in a big league game and a couple minutes later he’s lying on the ground, so it’s a very worrisome situation and it sucks, but you just pray for him and hope for him to come back soon and hopefully everything works out great.”
“He’s a great kid. Hard worker,” manager Rick Renteria said. “When you look at him he probably had to battle his whole career to do what he’s doing. Has a very good arm. Hes a nice man with a beautiful wife and kids. And just a nice guy to have around.”
As Renteria alluded, Farquhar’s baseball journey has been an eventful one.
He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008, traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2010, traded back to the Blue Jays the following year and made his big league debut in September of 2011. The next summer, he was claimed off waivers by the A’s, then claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees two weeks later, then traded to the Seattle Mariners a month after that. In 2015, he made seven trips between the Mariners and their Triple-A affiliate. The following offseason, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, and he made seven more trips between the bigs and Triple-A in 2016.
Released by the Rays last summer, he was signed by the White Sox and made his first appearance with the South Siders in August. He logged 14.1 innings in a White Sox uniform in 2017 and pitched eight this season, including the 0.2 he threw Friday.
Even with all that moving around between the majors and minors, he’s pitched in parts of seven different big league seasons.
Farquhar’s teammates and coaches said they hope that perseverance will help him in this situation — one that’s far more important than anything that’s happened on the baseball field.
“As of right now it’s not looking great,” Shields said. “He’s definitely stable from what we hear, but he’s got a long way to go and he’s fighting. So, one thing I know is that Farqy, he’s a fighter, man. So again we’re praying for him and his family. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”
“Listen, all of the kids that come into your life, I don’t know if they come into our lives, we come into their lives or our worlds combine. But I believe things kind of happen for a reason,” Cooper said. “You want their pitching and baseball lives to be wonderful. You want them to have the careers they are looking for, and that would certainly hold true outside of baseball. I know this: He’s alive, he’s got a chance and that’s what I’m hanging on to. And prayers are more necessary than talk.”