On Tuesday, the White Sox filled out their coaching staff, adding a new assistant hitting instructor (Howie Clark) and analytics coordinator (Shelley Duncan), in addition to new coaches already leaked (pitching coach Ethan Katz and bench coach Miguel Cairo).
Joe McEwing sticks with the club, moving from bench coach to third-base coach, presumably also still coaching the infield defense given his mentorship of both Tim Anderson and José Abreu.
Returning to their prior roles are assistant pitching coach Curt Hasler, hitting coach Frank Menechino and first-base coach Daryl Boston. Hasler in particular saw his influence play out strongly in the success of the 2020 relief core, having guided surprise bullpen stars Matt Foster, Codi Heuer and others through their rise to the majors.
The full team release is below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 1, 2020
WHITE SOX ANNOUNCE COACHING STAFF FOR 2021 SEASON
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox today announced the major-league coaching staff under manager Tony La Russa for the 2021 season:
· Bench Coach: Miguel Cairo
· Pitching Coach: Ethan Katz
· Assistant Pitching Coach: Curt Hasler
· Hitting Coach: Frank Menechino
· Assistant Hitting Coach: Howie Clark
· First Base Coach: Daryl Boston
· Third Base Coach: Joe McEwing
· Analytics Coordinator: Shelley Duncan
Cairo, Duncan and Katz are new to the organization, and Clark joins the staff from Triple-A Charlotte. Boston, Hasler and Menechino return to their roles following the 2020 season, while McEwing moves from bench coach to third-base coach.
Cairo, 46, enters his first season as the White Sox bench coach after spending the previous three years (2018-20) as the infield coordinator in the New York Yankees minor-league system. Cairo worked as a special assistant to Cincinnati Reds general managers Walt Jocketty and Dick Williams from 2013-17 following his retirement as a player. He also served as a coach on the Reds major-league staff in 2013.
A native of Anaco, Venezuela, Cairo played 17 major-league seasons with Toronto (1996), the Cubs (1997, 2001), Tampa Bay (1998-2000), St. Louis (2001-03, 2007), the Yankees (2004, 2006-07), the Mets (2005), Seattle (2008), Philadelphia (2009) and the Reds (2010-12). He was a career .264/.314/.361 hitter with 193 doubles, 34 triples, 41 home runs, 394 RBIs and 139 stolen bases in 1,490 games.
Cairo appeared in the postseason six times (2001-02, 2004, 2009-10 and 2012), and played for La Russa during his time with the Cardinals. He originally was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent on Sept. 20, 1990. Cairo was Tampa Bay’s Opening Day second baseman in its first-ever game on March 31, 1998.
Katz, 37, enters his first season as a major-league pitching coach after serving as the assistant pitching coach with the San Francisco Giants in 2020. He joined the Giants organization prior to the 2019 season as the assistant pitching coordinator. A native of Los Angeles, Katz served as a pitching coach in the Seattle organization from 2016-18 (Single-A Bakersfield in 2016; Double-A Arkansas from 2017-18).
Katz also was a pitching coach in the Los Angeles Angels system with the Arizona Rookie League Angels (2013) and Single-A Burlington (2014-15). Prior to his professional baseball coaching career, Katz was the pitching coach at Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) High School from 2009-13, where he worked with White Sox All-Star Lucas Giolito, St. Louis righthander Jack Flaherty and Atlanta lefthander Max Fried.
Katz appeared in 102 minor-league games (eight starts) in the Colorado organization from 2005-09, going 13-7 with a 2.79 ERA and 150 strikeouts. He was selected by the Rockies in the 26th round of the 2005 draft out of Sacramento State University.
Hasler, 56, enters his fifth season as the White Sox assistant pitching coach. In 2020, Sox pitchers ranked sixth in the major leagues with a 3.81 ERA, and set a franchise record by averaging 8.93 strikeouts per 9.0 IP. Left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel (fifth) and Giolito (seventh) finished in the Top 10 of the 2020 American League Cy Young voting. Hasler also worked daily with Sox rookie relievers Garrett Crochet, Matt Foster and Codi Heuer.
Menechino, 50, enters his second season as the White Sox hitting coach. The Sox in 2020 led the AL in home runs (96), slugging percentage (.453) and run differential (+60) and ranked second in average (.261), runs scored (306) and OPS (.779). The White Sox were one of just four teams (also Atlanta, the Dodgers and Philadelphia) in baseball to feature five players with 10-plus homers. First baseman José Abreu was named AL MVP and won an AL Silver Slugger Award, outfielder Luis Robert finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting, and shortstop Tim Anderson and outfielder Eloy Jiménez also won AL Silver Slugger Awards.
Clark, 46, enters his first season as the White Sox assistant hitting coach after being hired as the hitting coach at Charlotte prior to the cancellation of the 2020 minor-league season. He served as the assistant hitting coach with the Baltimore Orioles from 2017-19, working with All-Stars Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo during his tenure. Seven Orioles players hit 20-plus homers in 2017.
Boston, 58, enters his ninth season as the Sox first-base coach and overseeing the club’s outfielders. Robert won a Gold Glove for AL center fielders in 2020, joining Tommie Agee (1966) as the only White Sox rookie outfielders to win the award. Chicago outfielders finished fifth in the AL with a .989 fielding percentage in 2020.
McEwing, 48, enters his 10th season on Chicago’s major-league staff and returns to third-base coach after working in that role from 2012-16 under Robin Ventura. He served as bench coach under Rick Renteria for the previous four seasons (2017-20), and also managed 10 games (5-5 record) in place of Renteria. McEwing also worked extensively with 2020 AL Gold Glove finalists Danny Mendick (second base) and Yoán Moncada (third base).
Duncan, 41, enters his first season as the analytics coordinator on the White Sox staff. He served as Toronto’s major-league field coordinator in 2019 after managing in the Arizona minor-league system from 2015-18. A native of Tucson, Duncan led Double-A Jackson to the Southern League championship in 2018 and Single-A Hilsboro to a Northwest League title in 2015.
Duncan was a career .226/.305/.419 hitter with 43 home runs and 144 RBIs in 330 career games with the Yankees (2007-09), Cleveland (2010-12) and Tampa Bay (2013). He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Arizona. Duncan’s father, Dave, worked as a major-league pitching coach for 32 seasons with Cleveland (1980-81), Seattle (1982), the White Sox (1983-86), Oakland (1986-95) and St. Louis (1996-2011).
The elder Duncan was hired two years ago by the White Sox as a pitching consultant.