The White Sox announced the hiring of Pedro Grifol as their manager Thursday. Grifol, 52, the Royals’ bench coach the last three seasons, will take over after two seasons of Tony La Russa at the helm.
The announcement comes after a month-long search after the Sox finished 81-81 in 2022, 11 games behind the AL Central champion Cleveland Guardians. Grifol will be a first-time manager in the major leagues.
“Pedro is a bilingual, modern baseball thinker who brings two-plus decades of experience in a variety of roles — bench coach, hitting coach, winter ball and minor league manager, director of player development and scout,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement announcing the hire Thursday morning. “He is an excellent communicator and an experienced game planner who brings a high energy and detail-oriented approach to leadership. He is committed to building an inclusive and cohesive clubhouse, and we could not be happier to have Pedro leading our club.”
Grifol (pronounced “grif-FOAL”) will be the 42nd manager in Sox club history.
La Russa guided the Sox to the AL Central title in 2021 after replacing Rick Renteria, who led the Sox to a Wild Card berth in 2020 but was fired after that season. La Russa, 78, did not complete his second season, however, stepping down due to health reasons.
Grifol joins the Sox after a 10-year stint in Kansas City (2013-22). He will be the fourth current Latino manager in the majors, joining Boston’s Alex Cora, St. Louis’ Oliver Marmol and Washington’s Dave Martinez.
Prior to his three seasons as bench coach, Grifol’s roles with the Royals included quality control/catching coach (2018-19), catching coach (2014-17), special assignment/hitting coach (2013-14) and Arizona Rookie League Surprise hitting coach (2013). The Royals won back-to-back AL pennants in 2014-15, capturing the World Series championship in 2015 by defeating the New York Mets in five games after losing the Fall Classic to San Francisco in seven games in 2014.
Grifol spent 13 seasons (2000-12) in the Mariners organization before joining the Royals, including one as manager at Class A High Desert in 2012. He also worked as director of minor league operations, coordinator of instruction and major league coach with Seattle.
Grifol managed four seasons in the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues.