NOVEMBER 3: At today’s press conference introducing Grifol, GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including The Athletic’s James Fegan) that Montoyo, Katz, and Hasler would be on the coaching staff. The White Sox will be looking outside the organization to fill the bulk of the other coaching roles.
NOVEMBER 1: 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, as first reported on Twitter by Northbrook Bob.
It could be the start of a significant coaching staff overhaul on the South Side, as Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic tweeted this morning that a number of the members from Tony La Russa’s staff will not return. Pitching coach Ethan Katz is a seeming exception, as Rosenthal notes he’s expected back for a third season. Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times hears the same and reports that bullpen coach Curt Hasler is likely to stick around as well. The rest of the staff makeup seems to be up in the air.
Most notably, that includes now-former bench coach Miguel Cairo. The longtime big league infielder was hired as La Russa’s right-hand man going into the 2021 season. He spent two years as Chicago’s bench coach and took over as acting manager at the end of this past season when La Russa stepped away to attend to the health problems that eventually led him to vacate the managerial position. Cairo got an interview from the Sox for the full-time managerial position, but he obviously didn’t land that job. Now, it’s an open question whether he’ll return to the organization in any capacity.
Montoyo adds an experienced voice to the Chicago coaching staff. The 57-year-old has coached or managed in the majors for the past seven years. After more than a decade and a half managing in the Rays farm system, Montoyo got a bump to the MLB staff as Kevin Cash’s bench coach heading into the 2016 campaign. He held the role for three seasons before the Blue Jays hired him as their skipper over the 2018-19 offseason.
The Puerto Rico native managed the Jays for three-plus seasons, leading Toronto to a playoff berth in 2020. The Jays narrowly missed the postseason last year. Toronto started the 2022 campaign 46-42 and held a playoff spot as the All-Star Break approached, but the Jays decided to go in another direction and fired Montoyo on July 13. Bench coach John Schneider was promoted and guided the team to a 46-28 record down the stretch, clinching a Wild Card berth before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Mariners.
Montoyo’s past bench coach and managerial experience should be welcome for Grifol, who’ll manage an MLB team for the first time. He and the front office figure to build out the remainder of his staff over the coming weeks. Hitting coach Frank Menechino, assistant hitting coach Howie Clark and base coaches Daryl Boston and Joe McEwing are among those who appear to have uncertain futures as the Sox shuffle their staff.