White Sox part ways with batting coach Frank Menechino

The White Sox landed on their new manager yesterday, agreeing to a contract with Pedro Grifol. The team hasn’t officially announced the hiring of the former Royals bench coach, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweet they will do it tomorrow.

With Grifol replacing Tony La Russa, the Sox should review their coaching staff. Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that a number of coaches had not been asked to return, and reports from last night indicated that Charlie Montoyo was joining the staff as a bench coach. The status of La Russa’s bench coach Miguel Cairo remains unclear but a few other staff members are known to have left the organisation.

Batting coach Frank Menechino and catcher coach Jerry Narron will not be returning in 2023, reports The Athletic’s James Fegan. That’s also true for third base coach Joe McEwing, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times first reported.

Previous reports suggested pitching coach Ethan Katz and assistant pitching coach Curt Hasler would be retained. The future of Cairo, assistant batting coach Howie Clark and first baseman coach Daryl Boston has not been publicly revealed, but Fegan suggests departures could go beyond Menchino, McEwing and Narron .

Among the known departures, none is more significant than that of Menechino. The 51-year-old has been the south side’s hitting coach for the past three seasons. He had also spent two years as a Marlins batting coach and coach in the Yankees and Chicago farm systems. He had served as batting coach under Rick Renteria and La Russa.

The White Sox were a generally successful offensive team during Menechino’s tenure. Since the start of the 2020 campaign, they rank ninth in running scores and park-adjusted strikes (105 wRC+). The 2022 results were more in the middle of the pack, however, with Chicago finishing 19th in points. They ranked 18th with a .310 on-base percentage and a .387 hitting mark, and only the Tigers drew fewer walks.

Like any manager, Menechino certainly doesn’t deserve all the credit for the club’s above-average success in 2020-21 or all the blame for his disappointing numbers in 2022. Still, it’s not uncommon for a new manager to make a few adjustments to the coaching staff, and it seems likely the Sox will be hoping a new voice can bring a bit more patient offensive approach. Chicago’s roster is built around a number of aggressive hitters, but the team finished with the second-highest chase rate on pitches outside the strike zone while closing in on average to swing on lands in the area.

As for other personnel changes, McEwing and Narrow are both longtime big league coaches. McEwing has been coaching with the Sox organization since 2008 and has been on the MLB staff since 2012. He spent a few years as a bench coach between his stints coaching third base. Narron has previously been a bench coach in Arizona and Boston. He had been on the Chicago team for two seasons.

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