The Chicago White Sox promoted from within to fill Rick Renteria’s coaching staff, according to the Associated Press. Third-base coach Joe McEwing will replace Renteria as bench coach. McEwing has been with the team since 2008 and managed in their minor league system. Baseball America rated him as a top managerial prospect in 2009.
Nick Capra takes over for McEwing. Capra was previously director of player development and is in his 22nd season with the organization. Pitching coordinator Curt Hasler was promoted to bullpen coach. Hasler has been pitching coordinator since 2011.
To no one’s surprise, Don Cooper will return for his 16th season as pitching coach. Todd Steverson will return as hitting coach, a position he took over in 2013, and Greg Sparks returns as assistant hitting coach. Rounding out the coaching staff is; Daryl Boston (first base) and Mark Salas (bullpen catcher).
What jumps out at me about this coaching staff is how many years of experience they have within the Sox organization. It’s just like this team to look within the organization to hire guys instead of bringing someone in with fresh ideas. In all honesty, this reeks of having Ken Williams name all over it. It makes me wonder if Renteria had any say in his coaching staff.
McEwing seems like he’ll be a great fit as bench coach. He has managerial experience and did a heck of job in the minor leagues. It also doesn’t hurt his case that he was a minor league manager of the year. The biggest question mark is Capra. Yes, he has experience with the organization but he’s never been a part of the coaching staff. Was there no one more qualified for the position?
The most shocking thing is seeing Steverson return as hitting coach. This offense was terrible the past two seasons and he still has his job. It’s his job to make sure the offense is producing and they didn’t all season. Jose Abreu struggled during the first 100 games but turned it up at the end. Maybe that’s the only reason Steverson still has a job.
It’ll be exciting to see the pitching staff continue to develop under Cooper. Cooper has been a fixture in this organization and considered one of the best in the business. He has already done a phenomenal job with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Hopefully he can do the same with Carlos Rodon and Carson Fulmer. Pitching has always been a strength of this team, and the minors are stocked with some great talent. It will be up to Cooper to develop this talent into elite pitchers. If all goes well, the White Sox could have one of the best pitching staff’s in baseball.
While I’m optimistic, it still gives me pause that it’s going to be the same guys coaching this team. Everyone just has a new title. However, Renteria has managing experience and did a great job helping develop some guys on the Cubs. You could argue that team wouldn’t be where they are today without him. Hopefully this can translate to the Sox, and they’ll be a much more competitive team in the very near future.