TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar took another big step in his comeback, and his family was in the stands to see it.
The right-hander was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage and had surgery the next day. He was hospitalized until May 7.
“Extraordinarily successful being the fact that I wasn’t thinking about anything besides striking everybody out,” Farquhar said. “I wasn’t thinking about my helmet hat, I wasn’t thinking about anything else. My focus was what it’s been in the past. Just create swings and misses. That’s what I call normal.”
The 32-year-old Farquhar is using a specially designed protective cap which includes Kevlar and foam.
His wife, Lexie, and children Madison (7), Landon (3) and Liam (1) took in the game from the third base side of an empty Steinbrenner Field.
“I saw them while I was warming up,” Farquhar said. “We talked about it. I told them I wanted them to be in the stands. Just to see my family, my kids so happy and just enjoying themselves, it gives me that extra boost of energy.”
Madison and Landon ran after fouls hit into the seats.
“They got all the balls,” a laughing Farquhar said.
Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Farquhar will have another simulated game later this week.
“The attitude he has about everything is, I think it’s good for everybody to see,” Rothschild said. “It’s kind of special.”
Farquhar struck out and walked Giovanny Urshela, and got a strikeout and fly against Francisco Diaz.
“Super encouraging to actually have batters with lots of coaches around that aren’t trying to swing and miss just to bolster my confidence,” Farquhar said. “They’re trying to impress coaches for their careers, too. So, to see guys step in the box and want to hit a home run off you and have that success that I had today, it’s in the positive direction.”
All the outs came on 1-2 pitches. He threw 12 of 19 pitches for strikes.
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.
“To have the team support in here is incredible,” Farquhar said. “I feel it 100 percent from all my teammates.”
Farquhar 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).
Farquhar was 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA in eight innings over eight games last year,