TORONTO -- Red Sox manager John Farrell took a one-day leave on Saturday for one of the most exciting reasons possible.Farrell flew to Kansas City to watch his son Luke, a right-handed pitcher, make his Major League debut in the opener of a day-night doubleheader against the Twins. He gave
TORONTO -- Red Sox manager John Farrell took a one-day leave on Saturday for one of the most exciting reasons possible.
Farrell flew to Kansas City to watch his son Luke, a right-handed pitcher, make his Major League debut in the opener of a day-night doubleheader against the Twins. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings.
All three of Farrell's sons were selected in the Draft, but Luke, who was selected by the Royals in the sixth round back in 2013, will be the first to reach the Majors.
"Extremely proud," said John Farrell after the Red Sox downed the Blue Jays, 7-4, in 11 innings on Friday. "Luke's overcome a number of health issues himself. If there's a word that I could sum up for him, it's determination. And to see him realize a dream of becoming a Major League pitcher with his debut tomorrow, a great day for him. The support that his mom and his brothers have given him along the way, this is a good day for him."
In the summer of 2009, a dentist noticed something irregular in the back of Luke Farrell's throat. It turned out to be a benign turmor, and after two surgeries, it was removed. He was told it wouldn't come back, but in two years, he needed to have another surgery to remove the tumor.
While John Farrell has done his best to support Luke in his quest to reach the Major Leagues, getting to watch him pitch has been a rarity.
"When he was a sophomore in college, about six years ago," said Farrell, who was diagnosed with Stage 1 Lymphoma in 2015. "And I saw him pitch in the Dominican this past winter."
Bench coach Gary DiSarcina, who managed the Red Sox on Wednesday while Farrell served a one-game suspension, took the helm on Saturday.
Farrell appreciated getting the blessing of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to go watch Luke's milestone moment.
"I wouldn't have done it without that, so I appreciate it," Farrell said. "A career baseball executive understands how the game is intertwined through generations, and I appreciate his willingness to allow it."
It remains to be seen which Farrell will have more nerves at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday -- John or Luke.
"You know, I don't know that I'll be sitting. I'll be pacing the ballpark for sure," said John Farrell. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for him. So I'm really looking forward to seeing him on a Major League mound."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.