Sox Reporter

Why 'continuity' could be king on La Russa's coaching staff

Sox Reporter

Now that Tony La Russa has officially taken over as the White Sox new manager, he needs to put his coaching staff together.

But the Hall-of-Famer skipper might opt to keep some of the team's coaches in place as a way to not upend the positive work that's occurred during the South Side rebuilding project.

Echoing similar comments he made during his introductory press conference last week, La Russa, during a Monday morning interview with MLB Network, pointed to the possibility of retaining a number of the guys who worked under Rick Renteria in recent seasons.

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"With the success they had and the way they’ve developed, continuity is a very important criteria for picking the staff," he said. "Having conversations all the time with all three of them (team brain trust Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn), and wherever possible, I think quite often, there will be guys who were part of the coaching staff the last few years that I’ll be coming in new to."

Of course, the White Sox made a big change to their coaching staff the same day they announced they'd parted ways with Renteria, ending the decades-long tenure of Don Cooper, who spent the last 18 full seasons as the South Side pitching coach.

La Russa's longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan will not be coming with him to the White Sox. Hahn has mentioned the existence of internal candidates — Triple-A pitching coach Matt Zaleski and minor league pitching coordinator Everett Teaford are logical possibilities, among others — but we'll see which way the team goes to fill that important vacancy now that La Russa is aboard.

 

Additionally, the Sun-Times reported that third-base coach Nick Capra will not return as a part of La Russa's staff. Like Cooper, Capra was a longtime fixture in the White Sox organization, working for the team for the last 25 years, notably as the farm director from 2012 to 2016 before joining the major league coaching staff.

But elsewhere, it's certainly possible for that continuity to exist.

Joe McEwing has been with the White Sox for 13 years, the last nine as a part of the major league coaching staff. He worked as Robin Ventura's third-base coach before serving as Renteria's bench coach. He notably played for La Russa with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 1999, the first two seasons of his big league playing career.

The rest of the White Sox coaching staff is made up of first-base coach Daryl Boston, bullpen coach Curt Hasler, hitting coach Frank Menechino and assistant hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.

Could they all be back? Perhaps, depending on just how much continuity La Russa and the White Sox are looking for.

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