Indians preparing for Francona to return as manager in 2022

Jason Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Cleveland Indians are expecting veteran manager Terry Francona to reprise his role as skipper for the 2022 season.

"We continue to plan looking at 2022 with Tito as our manager," team president Chris Antonetti said Saturday, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic. "If at some point that changes, we're gonna have to reconsider things. But we have no reason to think that'll be the case."

Francona, 62, has been away from the team since late July due to health concerns. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, gastrointestinal issues held the skipper to 14 games. Sandy Alomar Jr. filled in last year, leading the team to a 28-18 record.

This season, bench coach DeMarlo Hale has taken over in the interim. The second-place club currently sits at 71-74, 10 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot.

Francona is one of the most celebrated active managers. He's won two World Series championships, including the curse-breaking Boston Red Sox title in 2004. Francona is also a two-time Manager of the Year honoree, most recently winning in 2016 while leading Cleveland to a 94-win season and the American League pennant.

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Indians preparing for Francona to return as manager in 2022
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