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The White Sox haven’t released a full slate of coaches supporting Pedro Grifol, but neither have the three other teams who hired a manager over the last month or so. Whether it’s the Royals, Rangers or Marlins, the likely hires are all surfacing one by one.
For the White Sox, three individuals have been identified as impending new additions to the staff, and all by different means.
We already discussed Logan Jones, who said he’s joining the White Sox’s strength and conditioning department from the Arizona Diamondbacks system via a lengthy note on Twitter and Instagram.
On Sunday, Daryl Van Schouwen reported that Charlotte Knights hitting coach Chris Johnson will be part of Grifol’s staff:
If he’s an assistant hitting coach, that merits a shrug, since that position tends to be filled by coaches who are seldom seen and never heard (Howie Clark, Scott Coolbaugh, Greg Sparks).
If he’s the hitting coach, that’s a little less exciting. The White Sox promoted Frank Menechino from Charlotte, and Clark followed as Menechino’s assistant in 2021 after the Tigers hired Coolbaugh, so there hasn’t really been a payoff from that pipeline. Johnson said all the things you want to hear when Jeff Cohen tallked to him at the end of the 2022 season, but his track record is limited to Charlotte the last two seasons. For our purposes, an ideal new hitting coach would have a little more history to mine.
As for Mike Tosar, Grifol’s Kansas City colleague who was expected to join the Sox staff as the hitting coach, he updated his LinkedIn profile with a different title.
We’ll have to wait until the White Sox reveal the whole picture to better estimate the field coordinator’s jurisdiction. My first guess is that Tosar, who was a uniformed hitting coach in Kansas City if not the main man (Alec Zumwalt), needed a grander title in order to be hired away by a division rival. It wouldn’t be the winter’s first case of title inflation, because the Rangers hired former Boston bench coach Will Venable to serve under Bruce Bochy as associate manager.
As for when we can expect the White Sox to finalize the coaching roster, they formally announced Tony La Russa’s whole staff on Dec. 1, 2020. Then again, Grifol doesn’t have a criminal case hanging over his head. We hope.