Francona has missed the Guardians’ past three games after being hospitalized for lightheadedness. He returned to Kauffman Stadium on Thursday to watch interim manager DeMarlo Hale guide the Guardians in their 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Kansas City Royals.
Temperatures for Thursday’s game in Kansas City were expected to reach 102 degrees, prompting the Guardians to play it safe with Francona.
Francona, 64, has a history of medical complications, including blood clot issues and gastrointestinal problems that limited him to 14 games in the 2020 season. Current first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. served as his replacement.
In 2021, Francona had a hip replacement as well as surgery on his left big toe due to a staph infection. He eventually gave way to Hale for the final 63 games of the season.
Francona also underwent cardiac ablation surgery in midseason in 2017. He had to pull out of managing the American League All-Star team, with Cleveland bench coach Brad Mills serving in his place.
Francona has been named AL Manager of the Year three times (2013, 2016 and 2022) during his 11 seasons with Cleveland.