We THINK the White Sox have made a few moves on the coaching staff front; however, the team has not announced anything official as of yet. Nonetheless, as always, your friendly South Side Sox squad seeks to keep you in the know as best we can, even though the team likes to keep us in the dark as much as possible. It’s fun and exciting to dig into the depths of social media, including an almost-dead Twitter, to see what breadcrumbs we can share with you.
On that note, Daryl Van Schouwen reported yesterday that Triple-A hitting instructor Chris Johnson may be a part of the 2023 White Sox coaching staff.
Hearing Chris Johnson will be part of White Sox manager Pedro Grifol’s staff in 2023. Johnson was hitting coach at AAA Charlotte the last two seasons.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) November 20, 2022
Who is Chris Johnson, you say? Johnson, the player, was a fourth round draft pick of the Houston Astros in 2006. He played for five MLB teams as a third baseman during his seven-year professional career. In January 2019, the Sox signed him to a minor league deal and released him on March 20 of that year. Then, prior to the 2021 season, Johnson was hired as the hitting coach for the Triple-A affiliate Charlotte Knights.
In 150 games, the 2022 Knights slashed .258/.328/.418 with an OPS of .746. Their .258 batting average was quite respectable and tied the Knights for fourth out of the 20 International League teams. On the other hand, their on-base and slugging percentages did not fair as well, placing them 17th and 10th, respectively. And lest we forget, Charlotte’s Truist Field is, shall we say, hitter-friendly.
Some fans spotted our next nugget on LinkedIn. Yes, this is some real sleuthing here, folks. Drum roll please ... Mike Tosar appears to be our next major league field coordinator.
Tosar (maybe?) comes to the Sox with 30+ years of experience, including time as a hitting coach, minor league manager, and scout in various organizations. Most recently, he was the Kansas City Royals special assignment hitting coach from 2019-22. Before that, he was an international scout and special assignment hitting coach with the Dodgers from 2012-19. As a player, he was a minor league infielder from 1991-93 in the Mets and Expos systems.
It’s not exactly clear what a major league field coordinator does, but Google tells me that it is a wide-ranging role that includes things like game-planning, practice design, and workload management. These are the kinds of things that Tony La Russa was notorious for doing, even as a manager well into his 70s — so in theory, this should be a “new” position filled for the White Sox in 2022.
That’s all we’ve got for now. Hoping the Hot Stove heats up soon for our Sox, and we can share some exciting, breaking news with you. Knowing our team, though, it probably won’t be anything impressive, and we’ll be mad about some mid-level stopgap acquisition.
Happy Monday, Sox fans!