CHICAGO - Indeed the White Sox didn't have to look far for a replacement for Robin Ventura.
On Monday the White Sox made official the promotion of bench coach Rick Renteria to manager. He's expected to be formally introduced at a news conference this morning at US Cellular Field.
He replaces Ventura who stepped down as manager after five seasons following the team's season finale against the Twins on Sunday.
“I appreciate this tremendous opportunity to manage the Chicago White Sox,” said Renteria in a statement released by the team. “It is a great honor as well as a great responsibility. Over the past season as Robin Ventura’s bench coach, I have gotten to know the players and staff very well, and I look forward to helping us achieve our goals together. We want to field a team that plays smart baseball, takes advantage of any opportunity within the game, and competes hard each and every day in a way that makes White Sox fans proud of our team’s effort.“I also want to thank Robin for his friendship and leadership over this past year,” Renteria said. “His class, professionalism and commitment to the White Sox organization is unmatched, and I enjoyed and learned a great deal during our year together.”
Renteria has spent the last two seasons in Chicago - one on the North Side and one on the South Side. In 2014 he served as the manager of the Chicago Cubs but was let go after the season when the team decided to go with then Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon.
In November of 2015 he was signed by the White Sox to be their bench coach and held the position this past year. His elevation to manager makes him just the second person to manage both the Cubs and the White Sox as he joins Johnny Evers in that exclusive category.
“Rick is incredibly well respected within the game as one of the top baseball men,” said general manager Rick Hahn of Renteria in a statement released by the team.. “We obviously have been very impressed by Rick over his past year as bench coach. He is a knowledgeable teacher of the game who loves to develop players and spends hours watching video looking for any nuance that gives us an edge.
"He is well respected within the clubhouse, and his ability to communicate in English and Spanish is a real plus as he interacts with our players.”
This will be just the second MLB managerial job for Renteria, a native of Temecula, California. He was a minor league manager for eight season and worked as an assistant for the Padres from 2008-2013. Renteria also played in the majors for five seasons with the Pirates (1986), Mariners (1987-1988) and Marlins (1993-1994).