After going 72-89 this past season, the Chicago White Sox could have reasonably decided to move on from Rick Renteria at the managerial spot this offseason, but ended up choosing to not go that route.
Renteria, 57, has been with the club for each of the past three seasons in which he has gone 201-284
With that record, the team justifiably could have moved on from Renteria knowing that options like Joe Maddon (now with the Angels), Joe Girardi, Carlos Beltran, Moises Alou, and many other strong managerial candidates were available.
Which begs the question, is Renteria really the right person for the job? It’s honestly hard to tell from his first few years with the club.
During that span, Renteria was in charge of a club with almost no expectations given a lack of any talent really whatsoever.
The 2019 roster was by far his best squad he had to work with and it still was a below-average team. That being said, they showed marked improvement from last season to this year, winning 10 more games than they did in 2018 (62-100).
Had they fallen backward with Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Lucas Giolito establishing themselves while Eloy Jimenez came up and had a strong rookie season, the team likely would have had to really consider firing Renteria.
As detailed by Vinnie Dubar of NBC Sports Chicago, Renteria did get a little feisty with the press in August regarding his lineup construction, which was one aspect of his managing that got criticized often in which he talked about the idea of relying on analytics too much.
That being said, in-game decisions with Renteria are hard to put on him with a roster that simply wasn’t capable of competing no matter who was at the helm.
In 2020, though, things will be very different and Renteria should not have a long leash. He will be managing a team hoping to contend and with Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal set to reach the majors early on, they will have even more talent joining them and that’s before they do anything this offseason.
Firing him this offseason would have been like when the Chicago Cubs fired him after his first season as manager back in 2014, which seemed mostly like an excuse to hire Joe Maddon after he became available rather than anything against Renteria as a manager.
Rick Renteria deserves a chance to prove he should be this team’s manager long-term in 2020, but this is a make-or-break year for him.