The Chicago White Sox are expected to name Pedro Grifol their new manager, per reports. Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that their sources have confirmed the hiring.
Grifol comes with plenty of coaching experience and has been a finalist for multiple managerial vacancies. Grifol, a former catcher, has nine seasons working in the minor league systems for the Mets and Twins. He served as the Director of Minor League Operations for the Mariners and as a manager for their Double-A club. Grifol spent the last 10 seasons of his coaching career with the Royals, serving as their bench coach for the last three.
Per Ken Rosenthal's report, the White Sox are expected to retain pitching coach Ethan Katz but a few other coaches will not return.
Pedro Grifol fits most of the criteria laid out by Rick Hahn at the end of the season. Hahn stated that "White Sox DNA" was not a requirement for the position. Recent dugout experience was part of the equation.
However, Hahn also stated that he was looking for someone who contended for multiple championships. Kansas City went to back-to-back World Series and won the championship in 2015. Grifol was part of those teams, although those were not exactly recent.
Pedro Grifol comes into a sticky situation. The Chicago White Sox vastly underperformed in 2022 by finishing 81-81 in a season with World Series expectations. Injuries have played a big role in the last two seasons and the team will hope to rectify those woes in 2023. Chicago was also one of the worst defensive teams in baseball.
Grifol has a tall task at hand for a first-time manager. The White Sox need improvement in multiple areas and have to find a way to get the most out of their roster. The Sox' new skipper has held a variety of roles in his coaching career. He and the new coaching staff will need to leverage all of his experience in every facet of the game to get the White Sox back into contention.