Pedro Grifol has been concerned in attempting to beat the Chicago White Sox, most just lately because the Kansas Metropolis Royals bench coach.
He’ll have the prospect to attempt to lead the Sox again to the playoffs after reportedly being their alternative, in keeping with reviews Tuesday. ESPN’s Buster Olney was first with the information.
Grifol, who turns 53 on Nov. 28, takes over after Corridor of Famer Tony La Russa introduced Oct. 3 that he would not be returning because of health issues.
La Russa was tasked with guiding a gifted younger workforce to the subsequent degree when he took over following the 2020 season.
It didn’t prove that method.
The Sox completed first within the American League Central in 2021, however gained only one sport of their division sequence towards the Houston Astros. The Sox missed the playoffs in 2022, ending 81-81.
They’ll look to bounce again beneath Grifol, who has spent the final 10 years within the Royals group.
Sox basic supervisor Rick Hahn laid out a few of what the workforce was on the lookout for in a brand new rent during the Oct. 3 news conference.
“Ideally, ultimately, the fitting candidate is somebody who has latest expertise within the dugout with a corporation that has contended for championships,” Hahn mentioned. “Ideally, it’s somebody who is a wonderful communicator, is somebody who understands the best way the sport has grown and advanced within the final decade or so, however on the identical time, clearly, respect for old-school sensibilities goes to be vital as properly.
“One factor that maybe breaks from the mildew of a minimum of the previous few hires, having a historical past with the White Sox, having some type of connection to White Sox DNA is certainly not a requirement.”
The Sox reportedly stayed within the division.
Grifol was a particular task coach for the Royals in 2013, the hitting coach in 2013-14, the catching coach from 2014-17 — working with star Salvador Perez — and the standard management/catching coach in 2018-19 earlier than changing into the bench coach in 2020.
The Royals reached the World Sequence in 2014, shedding to the San Francisco Giants in seven video games. They returned to the World Sequence the next season and beat the New York Mets in 5 video games.
Grifol initially joined the Royals because the hitting coach for the workforce’s rookie membership in Shock, Ariz., in 2013 after 13 seasons with the Seattle Mariners group. His roles with that franchise included managing in Class Brief A in 2003-05 and Excessive A in 2012. He was on Seattle’s major-league teaching employees in 2010.
Grifol managed Cardenales de Lara within the Venezuelan Winter League for 3 seasons (2010-13) and San Francisco de Macorís within the Dominican Winter League for one season (2018-19).
A a sixth-round decide by the Minnesota Twins in 1991, Grifol performed 9 seasons within the minors. He hit .226 with 39 homers and 273 RBIs in 652 minor-league video games within the Twins (1991-95) and Mets (1996-99).
He reportedly interviewed with the Miami Marlins and for the Royals managerial opening throughout this cycle. These positions have been just lately crammed respectively by Skip Schumaker and Matt Quatraro.
Grifol was one of many first names to floor in the course of the reviews of the Sox search. Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Sox supervisor Ozzie Guillén have been amongst others who reportedly acquired interviews, and in Hahn talked about in October performing supervisor Miguel Cairo as somebody “deserving of an interview and can obtain one.”
It’s unlikely Grifol would be the solely change to the employees. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported pitching coach Ethan Katz is anticipated to return, however a “number” of coaches are usually not being requested again.
With possible AL Cy Younger Award candidate Dylan Stop main the best way, the Sox completed eighth within the league with a 3.92 employees ERA and third with 1,450 strikeouts.
Offensively, the Sox ranked third within the AL with a .256 workforce batting common, however have been tenth with 149 residence runs and a .387 slugging proportion and 14th with 388 walks.
They have been sloppy defensively, ending final within the AL with a .982 fielding proportion, whereas their 101 errors have been probably the most within the league.
The Sox can have loads to work on beneath Grifol. However they’ll even have loads to work with, together with a lineup that was hit laborious by accidents in 2022 however might embody shortstop Tim Anderson and outfielders Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez.
Whether or not veteran first baseman José Abreu, who is a free agent, returns stays to be seen.
That’s one of many questions surrounding the Sox this offseason, however with Tuesday’s managerial information, they’re addressing their most urgent state of affairs.