When White Sox hire hitting coaches, whose coaches will they be?

White Sox utility guy Romy González
(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Texas Rangers have a chance to officially close the book on the 2023 MLB season tonight, so there’s probably an embargo on significant, official MLB news by the White Sox and the other 29 MLB teams. I assume that’s why Romy González had to break the news himself that he’d resumed throwing after undergoing shoulder surgery in August.

Ironic quips aside, footage of González doing baseball activities in a controlled environment can trigger flashbacks to last winter, when he was strangely present in so much White Sox offseason hype.

In hindsight, that video should’ve probably reduced the White Sox’s preseason projections by 10 wins. Let’s rank the subjects by the amount of excitement:

  1. Dylan Cease, who technically had more to achieve since he finished runner-up in the Cy Young

    [colossal, yawning canyon]
  2. Luis Robert, shown letting go of the bat with the wrong hand

    [smaller, but still sizable gap]
  3. Oscar Colás, hoping to show staying power for the entire 2023 season.
  4. Yasmani Grandal, coming off a season where he slugged .269.
  5. Romy González, trying to win second base.

And González’s inclusion wasn’t an outlier, because he was prominently featured in another offseason hype video …

… while Rick Hahn opened the season pumping up González:

Some of that might’ve been posturing, because a few days after Rick Hahn raved about Romy González, the White Sox ultimately signed Elvis Andrus to be the primary second baseman. It just doesn’t really change much, because replace González with Andrus in those examples above, and the result is just as sad.

So many other individual catastrophes unfurled, unfolded and/or exploded during the season that it’s easy to forget about the González hype cycle, but it’s funny to look back on it and see how most of the figures involved in the inflation are no longer part of the White Sox proper. Hahn was fired, José Castro was fired, and Chris Johnson was reassigned.

The White Sox entered the season with 2½ hitting coaches, all of whom lived in the Miami area and hosted Colás and González three times a week. Now the Sox are down to the half-coach in Mike Tosar, which probably isn’t enough to maintain the briefly vaunted Miami minicamp unless the Sox hire more South Florida residents as replacements.

When the White Sox are back to making official news, I’m probably most eager to see what direction Chris Getz chooses here, because it could tip the scales in terms of who the coaching staff appears to belong to. The current staff at the moment is a weird mix of Grifol’s ideas (Tosar, Eddie Rodríguez), Hahn’s ideas (Ethan Katz, Charlie Montoyo), with a Chris Getz guy (Brian Bannister) overseeing the pitching. Matt Wise is waiting in the wings at bullpen coach, and the most obvious Anaheim overlap is with new White Sox director of player personnel Gene Watson, but maybe we’ll learn more about that when the Sox are able to announce him.

Basically, if the new hitting coach(es) and first base coach aren’t Grifol-driven, then maybe Getz isn’t particularly Grifol-driven. He’s supported him publicly of course, and words are the only thing we can judge him by. However, Getz wouldn’t sound any different if he agreed to carry out a Jerry Reinsdorf mandate in order to rise to a position nobody else would hire him for. In that scenario, Grifol might be fixed in place, leaving Getz to seek some feng shui among the assistants. Grifol is going to heap praise upon Getz no matter what Getz chooses, so he may as well take advantage of the generosity.

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Without a lot of viable FA possibilities at 2nd/SS and with the amount of games you have to expect Moncada to be hurt for if the sox dont bring back anderson you are probably looking at what 1500-1800 at bats needing to go to a few players in the infield…. one or two out of Romy, Sosa, Rodriguez, Remillard, are gonna get those at bats… is Romy still the guy with the highest ceiling based on his exit velo’s and sprint speed metrics????


Dont the Sox still technically have a year of Leury Garcia left as well? Might as well throw him into that motley mix of middle infielders. Hell hes even had a year to get healthy. Time to bring Tony’s guy back!


I mean Ozzie’s in town. A Gold Glover at short!

Wouldn’t even need to buy him a plane ticket.


“There’s nothing but raves about Romy’s offseason”. Perhaps there is no other remark that typifies the Sox pathetic and completely phony efforts. The Rangers got 7 rbis from their 500M middle infield last night, Semien and Seager won game 3 by themselves. The Rangers owner bought himself a World Series title b/c of his bold bet and appreciation for excellence at two key positions. Good for him. Not complicated.

It doesn’t matter who the Sox get as hitting or pitching coaches, they need way, way better players, which will only come when they get an owner who isn’t a cheap, phony, spineless panzy ass with no balls.


How long before Getz cites feng shui as key to Sox culture….


If Getz reads this article he probably thinks that Feng Shui is a (assistant) manager from the KBO, NPB, or CPBL and is going to put a lot of effort in finding him.

As Cirensica

That Chicago White Sox’s tweet didn’t age well at all. The closing with Grifol made me sad as to what is coming next year with him still there. His highly susurrated and pitiful press conferences. All those dugout camera takes that display Grifol and his inevitable diffidence look in his face. I am not sure how I am going to survive all of that.

I am not sure I care much who Getz will hired to fill the last vacant spots in the coaching staff. With Grifol at the helm, the coaches appear to fall quickly into an assembly of people in uniforms that are just merely there like awaiting for something to happen. For the season to end


You would think that the Sox would look at teams such as the Rangers and the Astros who had a real leader in the clubhouse running the team. Coaches do matter, but without a good leader, coaches really don’t mean much. All of Grifol’s promises when he was hired never came to fruition. But, there is hope for a better manager … all that needs to happen is for a team searching for a new manager in 2024 to contact the Sox and ask for permission to interview Grifol for their vacancy. What are the chances??


My question is: Who wants to be hitting coach for the White Sox? They are the scapegoat on 35th and Shields so if this “foundation” doesn’t get better with a new voice(again), and the Grifol commitment is still intact by seasons end…Just seems like any hitting coach would need to be a Grifol guy to possibly weather that storm for the 3rd year. I’m hoping they actually try to upgrade the MLB coaching staff and overall FO, but doubt Jerry gives a budget to effectively address those. Hence why my OPP was so dire, can’t dream big with this team because the White Sox are where dreams go to die, but dammit I want them to prove me wrong and figure it out. Go Sox…and Sox Machine. Hard to fan without Josh/Jim and anyone else supporting.


I can see someone doing it. An assistant coach or minor league coach wanting the bigger paycheck and that title. If that person somehow does a good job, it could get them noticed by teams with real talent.


Words aren’t the only thing we can judge Getz’ support of Grifol by. He brought him back, despite what can only be described as a complete failure of a season. Grifol talked a lot about culture, but the Sox had the worst culture of any team in recent memory. Talked about holding guys accountable, then just didn’t. Talked about being ready to play every day, but they actually showed up just once or twice a week. Talked about fundamentals, too, but the Sox sucked at those as well. I don’t know what excuses Grifol used to convince the FO he was worth wasting another season on, but if this is how Getz is going to run things, I have little hope for any real change.

As for hitting coach, I want only two things:

  1. An emphasis on pitch selection. I hate seeing all the chasing. Some of these guys have such good contact ability that it hurts them. They believe they can get to a pitch and they do, so they see no reason to change their approach. If they were more selective, they’d see more pitches in the zone that they can actually drive or get more free trips to 1B. I’m ok with either outcome.
  2. Teach these guys to hit the ball in the air. Sox as a team had one of the lowest launch angles in baseball. Grounders are easy outs most of the time. Get that launch angle up and you’ll see balls flying out of the park. At the very least, you’ll see fewer DP’s, unless the Sox run themselves into them.

There’s a non-zero chance that Jerry dictated Grifol had to stay because he didn’t want 2 years of dead money going out on top of other dead money he’s already paying. If that’s the case, I hope Getz is allowed to revisit the topic in July or October when A) Grifol has even more conclusively demonstrated he hasn’t learned a thing and is totally incapable of managing, and B) less money is owed to him.

I really want to believe Getz is smart enough to know Grifol sucks. I can’t say if I believe it, but I really want to. Apart from the Grifol debacle, I’ve been generally satisfied with Getz’ moves so far.


I’m with you on this, I believe Getz did what his boss told him to do with Grifol. I’m not sure you can read anything from it other than he can do what his boss tells him to do which is what 99% of us do.
Everything else so far has been or feels to be measured. We’ll get a better read soon enough as the WS could end tonight, that’s when things get started.


I seriously doubt Getz gave any serious objection to Grifol being brought back. Being as close to the situation as Getz was, he probably has too much sympathy for the guy to say to his face that he doesn’t deserve another chance.

I put that blame less personally on Getz than the “process” that promoted him, but it’s what we’re stuck with.


If he’s going to be a yes man to an idiot, it’s effectively the same as him being an idiot, isn’t it?


If, and this is a huge and unknown if, keeping Grifol was a case of Getz acquiescing to Jerry’s wishes, it might be a case of a smart man choosing which battles to fight and in what order. Or he might be an idiot.

Who knows? I’m anxious for the Series to end so we can begin to assess Getz on his body of GMing work.

#3 for HOF

Have you been talking to my wife?




I’d pull what Jerry reportedly did to Hahn and bring Leury back to make him play out the last year of his contract.


I’m pretty cynical about the Getz hire if only because of the process decision that gave him the job, but some of this feels too cynical. Like, why think any of these coaches “belong” to anyone. I think you were right on the money, Jim, when you suggested over the last several years that trying to distinguish between the decision-makers in the front office was futile. It wasn’t Hahn or Jerry or Kenny, it was all of them.

Now, Jerry obviously shouldn’t be involved in baseball decisions at all, but outside of that I don’t see any reason to make those distinctions now or to find it especially troubling if we can’t. Why not, for instance, think Bannister, Watson, and Wise are Getz-Grifol collaborations? Why not see the hitting coach as such?

I don’t especially love the idea of Grifol having a say only because I don’t especially love Grifol, but I like it in principle. In principle, all coaching decisions should be a collaboration between the front office and the Manager. That, I think, is how a healthy organization should operate. It shouldn’t be “Pedro’s guys” or “Getz’ guys.”

Having said all that, I certainly sympathize with instinctive pessimism in reaction to White Sox news and the Sox FO has been dysfunctional enough that they haven’t really earned the benefit of the doubt. But, at this point, I don’t see any good reasons to start marking guys along party lines.


I guess I’m wondering why you’re sure it’s a “mix-and-match staff.” One of the things about having an insular [trigger warning] culture is you tend to find people who agree with you. For example, why think Boston was saddled on four different managers instead of the FO & those managers agreeing Boston was worth keeping? It wouldn’t surprise me if Boston was saddled on those managers but I don’t have any good reason to think those managers didn’t like Boston, too.

My recollection on Montoyo is the Sox didn’t hire him before Grifol, but had conversations with him before settling on Grifol. Didn’t Hahn say something like Grifol brought Montoyo up in the interview before he knew the Sox had talked to Montoyo? Maybe Hahn was lying (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time), but it’s not obvious to me why he would and it’s not surprising Grifol was interested in Montoyo. For what it’s worth, MLB Trade Rumors was under the impression Montoyo was Griofol’s guy in their story about Montoyo:

The White Sox landed on their new skipper this morning, with various reports indicating that Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol will take over the dugout. Grifol has apparently already tabbed his top lieutenant. Former Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo will join Chicago’s staff as bench coach

Of course, Boston and Montoyo are only examples. My point is there are a lot of assumptions here and there are, clearly, a lot of conversations we’re not privy to. I don’t think it’s uncommon for coaches to stay with organizations across managerial changes. Now, the Sox insularity is clearly a problem. But in a winning organization, it’s just called stability.

The real problem here (it seems to me) is the Sox Reinsdorf doesn’t care to hire people with the imagination to overhaul a broken franchise.


I don’t understand why most are convinced that Grifol hasn’t learned (or won’t) from last season’s experience. How many other clubs have fired a manager after one season?


He was incapable of learning in season, continuing to make the same mistakes over and over. So the evidence so far is that he’s incapable of learning and he hasn’t given us any reason to think otherwise.

On top of that, his basic people skills SUCK. Whether it’s how he handles veteran players, making people accountable, dealing with the press, publicly berating rookies, it’s all central to the point that he’s clueless.


I think the answer to your question (why most are convinced that he won’t learn from his mistakes) is that he seems like an idiot and, worse, like an arrogant idiot.

Then again, maybe that’s just me and I am misreading the room.

As Cirensica

Oh no, it’s not only you. I shred your sentiments, and I am pretty sure there are a lot of people in this wagon.

Last edited 1 month ago by As Cirensica

How many other clubs have had a season like the 2023 White Sox? It was a level-5, dumpster fire disaster—on and off the field. Grifol can hardly shoulder the blame for it. But, well, there’s no reason to think he helped and some reasons to think he didn’t.

I don’t see a compelling reason to keep him around. I’m sure he’s learned from his experience, but the experience was so bad I don’t see why they’d retain him.

JR’s Culture Club

I’m less interested in the palace intrigue of whether they are Pedro’s coaches or Getz’s or JR’s than I am interested in who the players they’ll be coaching will be… if it’s Romy and Sheets and Merrifield, I’m gonna be depressed no matter who I think they are most connected with in the front office or coaching staff


Figuring out the White Sox’s decision making is like being a Kremlinologist back in the Cold War era. Trying to glean what a fundamentally illogical and corrupt enterprise will do based on hints in Pravda (Bob Nightingale’s tweets), which loyal apparatchik is elevated for no clear reason (Chris Getz), and parsing Dear Leader’s rare public utterances.


One of the items that seems to have been lost, is, was Getz one of the original cheerleaders for Grifols hiring? Because, if true, keeping Grifol might not be a JR edict but Getz CYAing in front of the boss.


Right, they overlapped in KC…

As Cirensica

Off topic: Texas vs Arizona is the worst World Series I have ever watched since the time Boston swept Colorado. Just awful baseball. Bullpen games. Blow outs. Just nothing remarkable other than Marte’s streak.


I didn’t see much, but was happy Texas won. They did it by spending huge on two massive players. Good players win, and they cost money. But if you buy them, it can work. Not always, as with the Mets and Padres. But hey, at least they bleeping tried. Half ass or no ass efforts don’t win championships.


And Arizona got to the World Series without spending huge on any player. They did it by solid drafting and player develpment. The blueprint isn’t clear–just ask Padres and Mets fans. While the Rangers have some good young players, I like the Diamondbacks’ (and the Orioles) chances in the long term


It is not possible for the Sox to follow in the DBacks footsteps b/c they hired Hahn’s inept protege instead of somebody who has proven to be a good GM. Their ineptitude for drafting and player development is only rivaled by Jerry’s cheapness. They are several years away from having a top farm system unless they trade Cease and/or Robert, that much is clear.

The Rangers are a textbook model of how to finish what the Sox started. They had a 5th rated minor league system a couple years ago and a good young core with players like Adolis Garcia and Jung, and added Semien and Seager. The Sox had a good young core 3 years ago and since added Eaton, Harrison, and Kelly, and now have their worst roster in 50 years. I don’t know if even Semien and Seager would have been enough for the Sox to win, but they probably would not have sat home in October in 2022 at least, and they might have won a series in 2021 had Jerry run the team in any other fashion than being a complete pussy.


It would be impossible for almost anyone to follow in the D-backs footsteps. I think they were actually outscored by their opponents during the regular season.


This is true, I did not realize. They had the most mediocre roster I can ever recall in a World Series. Which is why I’m glad the Rangers won.


Me too. You can be good or lucky, but why not just try to be good? I don’t understand the baseball fans who would rather see their teams try to win the Moneyball championship than the actual championship. Go for it! Sure, there is a team or two that overachieves each year…and many that do not. Give yourself the best chance to win when it makes sense to do so. That’s what the Rangers did this year. It doesn’t work out all the time (Mets, Padres) but those teams were still a lot better than our Sox this year and it’s not like payroll savings guarantee future relevance/success.


Game 1 was amazing, Game 3 was was a tight one that you could never feel safe as a Ranger fan cause of their shaky bullpen and the game tonight was a classic pitcher duel good as well. And btw the way Arizona plays baseball isnt “awful”, I love how much they run around when they get on and the Rangers played great as well with a bunch of big clutch hits by people paid to make clutch hits. “Awful baseball” is what the White Sox did last year and dont forget it.


Yes, other teams set standards of excellence. The White Sox set standards for the complete opposite. They invent new and innovative ways to screw things up that never occur to anybody else.

As Cirensica

Maybe ‘awful’ was a bit too strong. but it was boring (to me).


I thought it was pretty entertaining for a 5-game series. Some of that was the new rules speeding things up. With the longer ad breaks and pitchers and hitters slowing things down more than usual in order to deal with the enormity of the moment, World Series games of recent years were often interminable.


Very good take, Steve. The pitch clock just makes such an enormous difference. This year’s World Series games were crisply played. I love the pitch clock, and it seems the pitchers adapted extremely well. And no 4-hour 9 inning games!