CHICAGO — White Sox minor-league pitching coach Danny Farquhar is still fairly new to coaching, but he already has a philosophy he abides by: “You always want to be positive.”
That philosophy applies to his life away from the diamond as well.
The former Sox reliever nearly died from a brain hemorrhage, caused by a ruptured aneurysm, which he suffered in the dugout during a game against the Astros on April 20, 2018.
Since then he endured a six-week recovery, threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Guaranteed Rate Field in June 2018, parted ways (as a player) with the Sox that offseason, tried a comeback with the Yankees as a minor-leaguer the following spring and rejoined the Sox as a minor league pitching instructor for Double-A Birmingham in August.
Despite more than a year of highs and lows, Farquhar was smiling and upbeat while discussing his health and his future at SoxFest on Friday.
“I’m doing great,” he said. “I’m on the coaching workout program, which is just work out your (biceps and triceps) and chest to look strong. It’s been awesome recovering and I’m happy to be a coach now.”
He said he’s amazed at the outpouring of support he continues to receive from fans, relatives and the Sox organization.
“And I can’t be more thankful for it. I’m just happy to still be alive and still in the baseball life,” he said.
On Jan. 13, he was named pitching coach for Class A Winston-Salem.
“My end goal is to be a big league pitching coach and I’m going to strive for the top,” Farquhar said. “Why would I do something and not try to be the best at it? There’s only 30 of them in the major leagues and I want to be one of the best in the game. … Obviously that’s not an overnight thing.
“I’m just really excited to actually handle 12 or 13 guys and be able to help them on a day-to-day basis, and I can’t wait for that opportunity.”
Farquhar said he texts a lot with minor league pitching coordinator Everett Teaford, who has been his chief mentor as Farquhar learns the nuances of coaching.
“The biggest difference (from being a player) is evaluating guys just constantly,” Farquhar said. “As a player you’re so focused on your performance, and as a pitching coach you have 12 or 13 guys that you’re evaluating and you’re trying to fix and you’re trying to help.”
Farquhar’s seven-year career as a reliever is fresh enough in his mind that he remembers the kind of coach he responded well to — and the kind he didn’t.
“I didn’t like the coaches that were negative,” he said. “I liked the coaches that were positive and tried to help me without being negative. That’s kind of my goal to help guys and plant the seed and lead them in the right direction, but almost make it seem like it was their idea.”
However, Farquhar said he has no problem having tough conversations with players who need constructive criticism, taking cues from his relationship with Teaford.
“If you have an issue with a guy and what he’s doing, instead of going and telling somebody else about it, why not confront the player and tell him to his face that you have an issue?” he said. “That’s how I want to handle my coaching job, and I think that’s the relationship I have right now with Teaford.”
Despite the shift in his aspirations from playing to coaching, Farquhar isn’t looking to follow in Sox skipper Rick Renteria’s footsteps anytime soon.
“Being a manager?” he said. “Now you have to deal with all the hitters and defensive positioning and — oof — I haven’t thought that far.”
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