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White Sox announce coaching staff

José Castro has signed on to turn this offense from mush to mash

2019 Atlanta Braves Photo Day
José Castro is tasked with supercharging the White Sox offense in 2023.

If a news dump falls in a forest full of fans wailing over the loss of José Abreu, does anyone ever see it?

Well, the White Sox want you to, and we are here to serve the White Sox. Or skewer them. Sometimes, both.

The headliner here is that longtime Atlanta Braves hitting assistant José Castro is now the White Sox hitting coach, with Charlotte’s Chris Johnson being promoted to assist him. Castro is a native of Cuba, and his first name is José, so it’s almost like you’re supposed to notice the White Sox just got rid of their best offensive player in 2022 without so much as a parting-gift copy of the home game.

And, of course, the other big news (which has already been known and somewhat addressed) is the addition of Charlie Montoyo as bench coach, assisting manager Pedro Grifol. What’s notable here isn’t as much that Montoyo, a successful manager with Toronto who was said to have been fired for losing the locker room, was added to the staff as a veteran hand — but that Grifol and Montoyo don’t have a prior relationship that might be expected in this circumstance. It gives off an impression of Montoyo as manager-in-waiting or emergency manager.

Anyway, here is the full White Sox release, in the full form in which they’d like you to read it:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 29, 2022


CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have announced the major-league coaching staff under manager Pedro Grifol for the 2023 season:

· Bench Coach: Charlie Montoyo

· Pitching Coach: Ethan Katz

· Bullpen Coach: Curt Hasler

· Hitting Coach: José Castro

· Assistant Hitting Coach: Chris Johnson

· First Base Coach: Daryl Boston

· Third Base Coach: Eddie Rodríguez

· Major League Field Coordinator: Mike Tosar

· Senior Director of Sports Performance: Geoff Head

Montoyo, Castro, Rodríguez, Tosar and Head are new to the organization, and Johnson joins the staff from Triple-A Charlotte. Boston, Katz and Hasler return to their roles following the 2022 season.

Montoyo, 57, enters his first season as the White Sox bench coach following a four-season stint (2019-22) as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. He recorded a 236-236 regular-season record and a Wild Card Series berth in 2020 at the helm of the Blue Jays before being dismissed following a 46-42 start to the 2022 season. During his tenure with Toronto, Montoyo managed All-Stars Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández, Alejandro Kirk, Alek Manoah, Marcus Semien, George Springer and Marcus Stroman.

Prior to joining the Blue Jays, Montoyo spent 22 seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, including four on manager Kevin Cash’s staff as third-base coach (2015-17) and bench coach (2018). He managed 18 seasons in the Rays system from 1997-2014 and won the Southern League championship in 2006 with Double-A Montgomery and two International League titles (2009, 2013) with Triple-A Durham.

Castro, 64, enters his first season as a major-league hitting coach after serving as the assistant hitting coach with the Atlanta Braves for the last eight years. He was part of the Braves coaching staff that won the World Series in 2021. A native of La Habana, Cuba, Castro has nine years of coaching experience in the majors (2015-22 with Atlanta, and 2014 with the Chicago Cubs as quality assurance coach). He also served as the interim hitting coach with the Seattle Mariners in 2008.

After retiring as a player in 1990, Castro spent 24 seasons as a minor league hitting instructor in the Montreal Expos (1990-91, 2002-03), Florida Marlins (1992-2001), San Diego Padres (2003-07) and Mariners (2008-13) organizations. He played 14 seasons in the minor leagues, including four in the White Sox system (1982-85).

Johnson, 38, joins the White Sox major-league staff as assistant hitting coach after spending the last two seasons (2021-22) as Triple-A Charlotte hitting coach. During his two seasons with Charlotte, the Knights ranked fifth in the International League in home runs (350), sixth in slugging percentage (.422) and seventh in batting average (.253).

Johnson played eight MLB seasons with Houston (2009-12), Arizona (2012), Atlanta (2013-15), Cleveland (2015) and Miami (2016), hitting .275 with 154 doubles, 63 home runs and 339 RBIs in 839 games. He originally was selected by the Astros in the fourth round of the 2006 draft.

Rodríguez, 63, begins his first season as the White Sox third-base coach after spending three seasons (2020-22) as Kansas City’s minor-league field coordinator. Among his 40 years of professional coaching experience, Rodríguez has served as the Royals third base coach (2011-13), Seattle’s first base coach (2008), manager Frank Robinson’s bench coach in Montreal (2004) and Washington (2005-06), Arizona’s third base (2002-03) and first base coach (2001) and Toronto’s third base coach (1998). After retiring as a player Rodríguez began his coaching career with a 15-year stint in the Angels organization from 1983-97.

Tosar, 54, enters his first season as the White Sox major-league field coordinator following three seasons (2020-22) as a special assignment hitting coach in the Kansas City organization. During his tenure in the Royals system, he worked with Bobby Witt Jr., Kyle Isbel, MJ Melendez, Ryan O’Hearn and Edward Olivares.

Tosar previously served as an international scout and special assignment hitting coach with the Dodgers (2012-19), scout and minor-league coach in the Seattle organization (2006-09), hitting coach in the Minnesota organization (2002), scout with the Florida Marlins (2000-01), and coach in the Tampa Bay system (1996-99).

Head, 37, joins the White Sox as senior director of sports performance after serving as the senior director of health and performance with the Cincinnati Reds for three seasons from 2020-22. Prior to his tenure with the Reds, he spent 12 seasons in the San Francisco organization as strength and conditioning coordinator (2008-2015), major-league sports scientist (2015-2017) and assistant director of player development/director of sports medicine (2017-2019).

Katz, 39, returns for his third season as White Sox pitching coach. In two seasons under his direction, the Sox lead all American League teams with an average of 9.59 strikeouts per 9.0 IP, rank fourth with a 3.83 ERA and fifth with a .236 opponents average. Dylan Cease finished second in the AL Cy Young voting last season, while Lance Lynn (third), Carlos Rodón (fifth) and Liam Hendriks (eighth) finished among the Top 10 in 2021.

Hasler, 57, returns for his 33rd season as a pitching coach in the Sox organization and his seventh on the major-league staff. Boston, 59, is back for his 11th season as first base coach and 26th as a coach in the organization.