Saturday, September 28, 2013
Robin Ventura hopes for no staff changes
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- For the second consecutive day, Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that if any changes to his coaching staff are to occur after the season, it won’t be because he wants them.
Speculation continued Saturday that at least one White Sox coach will be let go at the end of the season. Adding substance to the speculation was general manager Rick Hahn’s state-of-the-White-Sox address Friday, when he said Ventura would return in 2014 despite the team’s struggles but that the coaching staff still needed to be evaluated.
“We’re talking about [the coaching staff]; it’s going on today,” Ventura said Saturday. “I’m happy with the effort that was put in there. So I’m hoping there’s nothing done. But again, there are people above me.”
Hahn was asked Friday if everybody on the coaching staff will return next year.
“We still have three games left in the year, so we'll address all of that after the season's over,” Hahn responded. “I don't think it's fair for anyone in uniform for me to single out individual coaches or individual players at this time, while we're still playing, and say, 'This guy fits going forward,' or 'That guy doesn't fit going forward’ or 'We're looking to trade this guy.' I would never do that. I don't think that's professional.”
Most of the speculation has hitting coach Jeff Manto being replaced after this season. The White Sox are last in the American League in runs scored, are tied for last in slugging percentage and are second-to-last in on-base percentage and extra-base hits in a power-friendly ballpark.
Bench coach Mark Parent, pitching coach Don Cooper and third-base coach Joe McEwing all are expected to return next season.
There is no clear-cut replacement in the White Sox organization if Manto is relieved of his hitting-coach duties. Tim Laker is the organization’s minor league hitting instructor, while Brandon Moore is the hitting coach at Triple-A Charlotte. Former White Sox hitting coach Gary Ward now handles the same duties at Double-A Birmingham.
Ventura said that he hopes the coaching staff knows its fate before everybody leaves following Sunday's season finale. The White Sox, though, could wait until Monday before announcing any changes.