White Sox: Renteria Hiring Means Nothing Without Upgrades

Sep 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura (left), and bench coach Rick Renteria (right) before the game against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura (left), and bench coach Rick Renteria (right) before the game against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rick Renteria seems like a great choice for White Sox manager. Now, it’s up to the front office to give him a roster he can win with. GM Rick Hahn has said the team’s direction will become apparent soon.

The Chicago White Sox have a new manager but the same players. With Rick Renteria in place, the organization can now concentrate on upgrading the roster. While Robin Ventura struggled as a manager, this team’s lack of depth proved costly. Key injuries to guys like Austin Jackson and Jake Petricka left the team with holes, that they couldn’t fill.

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It will definitely be an interesting offseason on the South Side. General manager Rick Hahn told reporters the organization’s direction will become apparent quickly. So far, the only move they have made is naming Renteria manager after Ventura resigned. We’ll have to wait and see what Hahn and company have in mind. It’ll also be interesting to see what role Ken Williams plays.

The Sox don’t have a bad team. Despite their 78-84 record, they underachieved. You can blame Ventura all you want, but the fact remains, key players didn’t produce. It took Jose Abreu the first two thirds of the season to find his bat. James Shields was supposed to solidify the rotation. Instead, Shields turned out to the worst starting pitcher in baseball. Even worse, the Sox allowed him to finish the season as a part of the rotation.

The bullpen struggled all season. David Robertson for sometime showed he was an ineffective closer, but he’ll be one of the highest paid next season. The bullpen is an area of need this team cannot ignore. They must get better in that area or this team will never be successful. That means guys like Matt Albers have no business being on the roster in 2017. Albers was 2-6 with a 6.31 ERA in 58 appearances this season. Despite his poor showings, the team kept going to him in key spots.

It’s important the Sox address their holes this offseason. Renteria can be the best manager in the world but it doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t have a good team. And they definitely have holes to fill. The question will be whether the front office can agree on a course of action. Time and time again we heard Hahn and Williams weren’t on the same page, which the team denied. Now, we’ll see how true that is.

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Renteria talked a lot about intensity and changing the culture of the team. It sounds good on paper but doesn’t necessarily lead to wins. However, winning is always the best cure. The Sox definitely need to re-energize their fan base. Hiring Renteria was a good first step, but now they have a bigger challenge ahead. Without some upgrades this offseason, the Sox will just be the same mediocre team next season.