TAMPA, Fla. – Danny Farquhar couldn’t have imagined either scene 10 months earlier.
That a 28-pitch bullpen session early in spring training would draw a crowd of reporters armed with cameras, notebooks and recording devices and that, a little over an hour later, he would be ushered into a crowded room filled with those same reporters.
“This,” he said with a wide smile before sitting down, “is so cool.”
Last April 20, Farquhar suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage, the result of a ruptured aneurysm, in the dugout during a relief outing for the White Sox. He had surgery the next day, and when he was discharged from the hospital May 7, he had no idea what his baseball future held.
"Just to think 10 months ago that I would be here, you don’t know,” said Farquhar, who signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees on Jan. 21. “I am extraordinarily thankful.”
Farquhar, who will turn 32 on Sunday, appears in the clear with his health. He now will wear a custom-made piece of headgear – which he described as a “nice little hat/helmet that looks like a hat but is two sizes big” – for extra protection for his skull.
"It’s got Kevlar and foam,” he said. “It’s supposed to be the best product out there.”
He smiled. "I'll just have to increase my strikeout rate so they don’t hit the ball as much,” he said.
This is the second stint in the Yankees’ organization for Farquhar, whom the club claimed off waivers in 2012 and assigned to Double-A Trenton but then shipped to the Mariners about a month later as part of a package for Ichiro Suzuki.
Farquhar, who has a 3.93 ERA in seven big-league seasons, has pitched for the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays and White Sox.
“I think it’s important to understand that this guy can pitch,” 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.”