White Sox manager Rick Renteria is in his third season on the job, and it’s likely he’ll have three straight sub-.500 campaigns to show for his work once the year concludes. After combining for a 129-195 record from 2017-18, this year’s Renteria-led White Sox have gone into a tailspin and fallen to 42-51. The rebuilding club was surprisingly just one game under .500 through 83 contests, but it has dropped nine of 10 since then, including all seven of its post-All-Star break matchups. Most of the second-half defeats have come at the hands of the abysmal Royals, who completed a four-game sweep of the White Sox on Thursday.
As poorly as things are going right now for Chicago, its struggles aren’t going to lead to a new manager. Not only is Renteria’s job safe for this year, but it doesn’t seem the White Sox will be going in another direction in the dugout anytime soon.
General manager Rick Hahn heaped praise on Renteria on Thursday, saying (via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times), “As we said at the start of this process, we believed Ricky was the right man not only for the early stages of it but also for when the time arrived that we were ready to contend for championships.”
Hahn went on to credit the 57-year-old Renteria’s “strengths as a teacher, as a communicator, as someone who helps forge a new culture” – all of which have been important during the team’s rebuild, the GM believes. But once the White Sox move past the rebuilding phase, “[Renteria’s] ability to put the players in the best position to succeed and to maximize the win potential of our -rosters will be moved more -towards the forefront,” according to Hahn.
It certainly wouldn’t be fair at this point to judge Renteria on the team’s win-loss mark under his stewardship. He simply hasn’t had the horses to compete since succeeding Robin Ventura as the White Sox’s manager. Soon after Renteria went from Ventura’s bench coach to his replacement, the White Sox opted for a teardown, trading stars Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana from December 2016 to July 2017.
The blockbuster deals the White Sox pulled off a couple years ago have begun to pay significant dividends at the major league level. A few of the premium prospects from those swaps (Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease) have either established themselves in Chicago or stand legitimate chances to do so. How much credit should go to Renteria for that is up for debate. What’s clear is that he’s getting much more of a chance on the South Side of Chicago than he did on the North Side. He previously helped oversee the end of the Cubs’ rebuild as their manager in 2014, when they finished 73-89. The Cubs then moved on from Renteria in favor of Joe Maddon, who has steered a talent-laden team to four straight playoff berths and a World Series title.