Leonys Martín Battling Life-Threatening Bacterial Infection

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Leonys Martín has been out for the Indians with an undisclosed illness since Wednesday, August 8. This started to look like it might be quite a bit more serious than the usual flu-like symptoms on Friday, when manager Terry Francona gave an ominous update of Martín’s condition:

“What I would say, if you believe in saying prayers and things like that, keep him in your thoughts. But he’s in a good place. He’s at the [Cleveland] Clinic and he’s getting good care.”

The seriousness was suggested again later Friday night, when White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu had Martín’s name scrawled on his hat for the final game of the team’s series against Cleveland. Indians President Chris Antonetti provided a more detailed description of Martín’s condition Monday, and it is indeed terrifying: Martín’s internal organs have been under attack from a life-threatening bacterial infection.


Antonetti described the infection as “not a communicable thing.” The bacteria somehow entered Martín’s blood stream and began producing toxins that “did damage to his internal organs,” damage that Antonetti described as severe. Martín has apparently “regained a lot of the organ function” over the past 24 to 36 hours, but it sounds like he’s got a long way to go to make a full recovery, with Antonetti saying Martín’s recovery “will be measured in weeks, not days.”

The 30-year-old outfielder joined the Indians on July 31, in a trade with the Detroit Tigers. In six games with Cleveland he’s batting .333 with a pair of dingers.