The White Sox are expected to promote Chris Johnson to the big league coaching staff, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports (Twitter link). Johnson has been the hitting coach at Triple-A Charlotte for the last two seasons.
Johnson’s new role on the South Side isn’t yet known, though it would stand to reason that he’ll be moving into at least an assistant hitting-coach position on the overhauled Sox staff. Hitting coach Frank Menechino isn’t being retained for the 2023 season, and it doesn’t appear as though assistant hitting coach Howie Clark is coming back either, as Clark wasn’t one of the few names mentioned by GM Rick Hahn as part of next season’s staff. Pitching coach Ethan Katz and bullpen coach Curt Hasler look to be the only coaches returning under new manager Pedro Grifol, and the White Sox have already made a new bench coach hire in Charlie Montoyo.
It will be the first MLB coaching job for Johnson, who only joined the coaching ranks with his hire in Charlotte two seasons ago. Fans will remember Johnson from his eight-year (2009-16) playing career, as he appeared in 839 games and hit .275/.313/.404 with 63 homers in 2995 plate appearances. Most of Johnson’s career was spent with the Astros and Braves, though he also had brief stints in Arizona, Cleveland, and Miami.
Johnson also played in the Orioles’ minor league system in 2017, which marked his last on-field stop in pro ball. After not playing in 2018, he signed a minors deal with the White Sox during the 2018-19 offseason but was cut during Spring Training.