Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

White Sox News

Farquhar to coach in Minors: 'I love my new job'

Former White Sox to become affiliate pitching coach for 2020 season
@scottmerkin
November 7, 2019

CHICAGO -- In an absolutely perfect world, Danny Farquhar would still be pitching, facing the adrenaline rush and competitive world of late-inning relief. Even though he is retired from the playing field, life is pretty close to perfect for the 32-year-old pitching coach in the White Sox Minor League system.

CHICAGO -- In an absolutely perfect world, Danny Farquhar would still be pitching, facing the adrenaline rush and competitive world of late-inning relief.

Even though he is retired from the playing field, life is pretty close to perfect for the 32-year-old pitching coach in the White Sox Minor League system.

“I love my new job,” said Farquhar during a recent phone interview with MLB.com. “It wasn’t in the cards for me to continue playing. I don’t have any regrets. I busted my butt to get back to where I was in 2019 for the season and I just honestly wasn’t good enough, and I said that in the past.

“It’s time to move on for the next phase in my life. I’ve always wanted to be a coach. I think I would excel the most in professional sports, which is where I am.”

Farquhar was an analytics-interested competitor even before analytics became such an important part of Major League Baseball. During his seven big league seasons and 253 relief appearances for the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays and White Sox, Farquhar also was open to helping other teammates.

So, the transition from player to coach has been a smooth one -- almost natural. It became Farquhar’s career path following two appearances for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2019, which followed his amazing recovery from a brain aneurysm suffered in the Guaranteed Rate Field home dugout after pitching one inning against the Astros in Chicago on April 20, 2018.

Describing his health as “wonderful” and “great,” the happily married father of three embarked on his coaching career with an extended in-season trip to Double-A Birmingham during the 2019 campaign followed by work during White Sox instructional league action in Arizona. Farquhar learned the ins and outs of how things are run at Birmingham, when to pitch guys, when to rest guys and having open conversations with the other coaches about what they are thinking in certain situations.

At instructs, Farquhar met more staff members and younger guys who were recently drafted. With Farquhar set to become an affiliate pitching coach, he focused on the White Sox plan for teaching players in 2020, although he didn’t want to give away too much of the team's plan.

“Let’s put it nice and vague: It would be to actually have the data on how their pitches move, and show them not my opinion, not anybody’s opinion, but show them where their pitches are most successful in the strike zone and work from there,” Farquhar said. “Having that information right in front of you -- ‘Hey, if you are able to locate your fastball here, it’s going to be really good. If you locate your fastball here, it’s going to be really bad.’

“The cool thing is we have all this information with all the technology where we can present a piece of paper to a guy and show him where to throw the baseball. These young guys coming out of college and some high school kids, they are open eyes and open ears and taking this information in really, really well. The younger guys are really, really good learners.”

Becoming a Major League pitching coach would be Farquhar’s ultimate long-term goal, but he intends to keep throwing and playing catch. Maybe the velocity that never climbed in-game during his 2019 Yankees comeback someday will return. It’s a dream certainly not superseding his exciting current reality.

“You never know,” Farquhar said. “Maybe when I turn 40, it will all just come back. But the door is almost closed or completely closed. One of the reasons I signed to coach with the White Sox was the familiarity with all the people that were there, and I enjoyed working with them when they were my coaches and staff members. I didn’t feel like my White Sox career was over. I’m happy to be back.”

“Danny is an excellent addition to our pitching program. He is passionate, intelligent with solid communication skills,” White Sox director of player development Chris Getz said. “He has a strong understanding of pitching mechanics and pitch data that will help in maximizing the skill sets of our pitchers. We feel fortunate to have him back in the organization and believe he has a very bright future ahead.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.