The White Sox found a replacement for Jeff Manto today, as 670 The Score reports that the South Siders are set to hire Oakland A's minor league hitting coordinator Todd Steverson as the team's new hitting coach. Also according to the report, the hire won't be made official until after the World Series.
Photo via MSN
Before taking the job as Oakland's minor league hitting coordinator, Steverson worked for the A's in other capacities. He spent time as the first base coach on the big league club as well as a manager and a hitting coach in the team's minor league system. As a minor league manager, Steverson holds a 297-264 record (.529) and managed the AAA Sacramento River Cats to a 83-61 record in 2008.
The 41 year-old also had a brief major league career as an outfielder, playing 31 games for the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres between 1995-1996. He hit .256 with two home runs and six RBI in 51 plate appearances.
Over the past two years, we've seen Oakland be able to plug in basically whoever they wanted to in the starting lineup en route to two straight division title. This includes unhearalded players such as Josh Donaldson, Derek Norris, and Brandon Moss; all of whom failed in other orginizations before figuring it out in Oakland's minor league system. Just from the outside looking in, I figure that's something that intrigued the White Sox and is probably a big reason for this hire.
Steverson is a name that not many Sox or baseball fans have heard of, and quite frankly I had to look him up when I heard the news. However, assistant coaches are rarely splashy hires and big names. A lot of times, it's the guys who weren't big leaguers or all-stars that become the best coaches on a staff. For example, look at the careers of Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, all-time great Tony LaRussa, and our very own pitching coach Don Cooper.
I'm not saying Steverson is sure to become one of the best at his craft like that group, but what he's been able to do with some of these Oakland cast-offs that have become very relevant has me intrigued as well.
After a very rough season for this offense, a new voice will probably go a long way in helping to move past what was a horrible nighmare for every hitter in that locker room. Hopefully Steverson can provide that and then some.