Showing posts with label Chris Getz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris Getz. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2016

White Sox name Chris Getz director of player development

What was rumored is now official: The White Sox on Friday named former second baseman Chris Getz director of player development.

Getz, 33, has spent the past two seasons as a baseball operations assistant with the Kansas City Royals. He replaces Nick Capra, who was recently named the Sox's new third-base coach.

Getz appeared in 117 games for the Sox in 2008-09. He played for the Royals from 2010-13 and finished his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014. He posted a .250/.309/.307 slash line with three home runs in 459 career games. He did steal 89 bases, so there is that.

“We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

We can only hope that Getz is a better director of player development than he was a second baseman, and hey, he might be. We'll give him a chance to prove himself, although on the surface this looks like yet another example of the Sox giving a job to former player.

With that cynicism in mind, we might as well play our traditional, derisive "Welcome Back" song for Getz.

"Who'd have thought they'd lead ya
(Who'd have thought they'd lead ya)
Back here where we need ya
(Back here where we need ya)"

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

White Sox hope to avoid messy succession plan at second base

If you looked at the spring training stats a couple weeks ago and mentally began projecting White Sox prospect Micah Johnson for the second base job, you were among the many who thought the speedster had seized the role.

It's easy to forget that Johnson didn't begin the spring as the favorite. That would have been Carlos Sanchez, another Sox prospect who received a call-up last summer after Gordon Beckham was traded.

Something funny has happened since Johnson's hot start: Sanchez has caught up to him.

Johnson: .321/.368/.453
Sanchez: .371/.436/.371

All the caveats about spring training stats and small sample sizes apply. And we know neither guy is going to hit well above .300 all year. That's why we shouldn't be so excited for Johnson's first two weeks of spring, and why we should remember why Sanchez was favored to start the season as the second baseman.

Sanchez didn't blow anyone's doors off last year when he was called up (.250/.269/.300 in 104 PAs), but was doing good work in AAA (.293/.349/.412). That represented a solid bounce-back year for the 22-year-old when he had hit only .241/.293/.296 after being rushed to that level the season before. Sanchez has certainly shown adaptability.

Beyond optimism that Sanchez can improve the bat work he displayed in his audition, scouts agree he's much more polished defensively than Johnson, something the Sox might wish to carry with them into the season with some other defensive question marks around the diamond.

Then there's the matter of what Johnson doesn't have working in his favor.

The first is that he's not on the team's 40-man roster already. Picking Johnson over Sanchez could mean making another hard choice somewhere else.

There's the matter of Johnson's health. He did not get a call-up last year because he ended the season injured.

There's Johnson's lack of performance and experience at AAA. His overall minor league line of .294/.351/.401 is a combination of his robust AA performance (.329/.414/.466) and a forgettable one in Charlotte (.275/.314/.370 in just over 300 PAs).

Sliding a prospect into a starting role with that resume isn't something the Sox have been historically keen to do. The last time they started a season with a traditional rookie position player (traditional as in not an older Cuban) with fewer than 400 AAA plate appearances, it was Mike Caruso.

In that span if you go to fewer than 500 AAA plate appearances for a rookie given a job to start the year, you only get Brian Anderson and Chris Getz, and both hit better than Johnson has thus far at AAA.

The potential in Johnson's bat and his ability to improve on defense certainly gives him more upside than Sanchez, but realistically, all Sanchez had to do was keep the competition close to emerge with the job. And maybe he will by the end of the week.

Whichever player the Sox choose, they'd better be ready to stick by that decision.

It's easy to envision a scenario where Sanchez starts the season, and hits horribly through April and May. The Sox have had enough, but instead of proving he can hit and stay healthy, Johnson is struggling or injured at Charlotte. Then Beckham is back to start?

That's probably a better Plan C for second base than the Sox have had in a decade. It's still a far cry from where they want to be. In that worst-case scenario, no answers have been found about any players, or the future of the position.

Plan A, be it the safe decision with Sanchez or the more electrifying option of Johnson, needs to be seen through to the end. Whichever young player the Sox pick, they might need to settle for less than the ideal of watching that guy hit the ground running. It might mean living with some growing pains and resisting the temptation to return the devil they know (Beckham) to his starting role.