CHICAGO – The word was already out a few days ago and all White Sox fans were waiting for was confirmation of their next leader in the clubhouse.
That officially came on Thursday morning.
Pedro Grifol was named the 42nd different manager in the history of the club as he takes over for Tony La Russa, who resigned in October due to health concerns after two seasons. Grifol will be introduced at a news conference at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday morning.
The 52-year-old native of Miami, Florida has spent the majority of the last ten seasons with the Kansas City Royals organization. He’s been the bench coach for that team over the last three years after serving as hitting, catching, and quality control coach at the major league level during his tenure with that club.
This was preceded by his first stretch in coaching in Major League Baseball which came with the Seattle Mariners from 2000 through 2012. Grifol had a number of scouting roles with that franchise, starting first as an area scout from 2000-2005 before becoming the coordinator of instruction from 2006-2008 and then director of operations from 2008-2011.
During the 2010 season, he also served as a coach for the Mariners on the major league level.
While with the Seattle organization, Grifol got his first chance to manage, doing so with two different minor league clubs:
- Class A team Everett – 2003-2005
- Class A High Desert – 2012
He also had two stints as a winter league manager as well:
- Cardenales De Lara – Venezuela – 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
- San Francisco de Macorís – Dominican – 2018-19
Grifol comes to Chicago as the first manager hire in 30 years to not have worked or played for the organization. Gene Lamont was the last clubhouse leader to be hired without any previous connections to the organization back in 1992.
Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel, Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura, Rick Renteria, and La Russa had all had some role with the club before being named the manager.
In 2023, Grifol takes over a club that’s coming off a disappointing 81-81 season in which they were overwhelmting preseason favorites to win the AL Central division. While a good amount of the core remains, there figure to be changes, starting with Jose Abreu, who is not expect to have his contract renewed.
How many switches will be made it up to general manager Rick Hahn, but at least his new dugout leader is in place.