Sergio Santos always dreamed of playing in the major leagues.
He reached that goal in 2010, pitching for the Chicago White Sox. When his playing career — which included 194 relief appearances during six big-league seasons with the Sox (2010-11), Toronto Blue Jays (2012-14), Los Angeles Dodgers (2015) and New York Yankees (2015) — came to and end, Santos spent a couple of years as a stay-at-home dad and then worked at an MLB youth academy.
A little later, an opportunity arrived to join the Yankees system.
“My biggest fear was like, ‘Man, I did this grind for 15, 16 years and am I really going to want to sit through games again as a manager?’ ” Santos said during a video conference call Friday. “And within a couple of days, I knew this is exactly what I was built for.
“The way my career kind of happened from shortstop to converted pitcher, it makes a whole lot of sense as a manager because I’m able to relate to every single person in that dugout because I’ve been in that position.”
After two seasons managing in the Yankees organization — including 2023 for Class A Hudson Valley — Santos will bring that knowledge back to the Sox as the skipper of the team’s Double-A affiliate Birmingham.
“Anyone who knows Sergio knows he brings a lot of energy to the table, which I think is always welcomed,” director of player development Paul Janish said. “I’m excited for him. I know he’s excited to be back in an organization that he has some affection for because of having played here.”
Santos had a 3.29 ERA and 31 saves in 119 games with the Sox. He said he had “nothing but the fondest memories of Chicago, the fans.”
“In the back of my mind, there was always a hope I could get back with the White Sox,” Santos said.
The Sox announced the addition of Santos on Friday, along with their entire 2024 player development staff and assignments. Janish, hired in November, is in his first year overseeing the organization’s minor-league operations and player development system.
“The overall mission statement is trying to accumulate as many good people as we can that are into making the players better over the course of time,” Janish said.
Santos joins Justin Jirschele (Triple-A Charlotte), Guillermo Quiroz (Class A Winston-Salem), Patrick Leyland (Class A Kannapolis) and Danny González (Arizona Complex League Sox) as managers in the team’s minor-league system. Jirschele, Quiroz, Leyland and González each return to their managerial posts from last season.
Winston-Salem’s staff includes bench coach Darius Day, a Simeon graduate who was a member of the Chicago White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program.
“Being in that culture and being around those guys that kind of helped drive the passion of the game of baseball for me was something I admired for a very long time,” Day said.
Day appeared in 169 minor-league games mostly as an outfielder after being selected by the Texas Rangers in the 23rd round of the 2014 draft. He returned to the area with the ACE program and is set to make his professional coaching debut.
“It was very clear very quickly his passion for helping players,” Janish said.
Day is most looking forward to “getting back to the grind” in the role with the Dash.
“Just getting back to that structure, that everyday grind, everyday process of helping guys and trying to figure out what makes them go,” Day said.
“Being in the system now, it’s kind of surreal for me. I never thought I would be in this position, let alone in a jersey or uniform again. I’m just excited about the opportunity to be part of it.”
Here’s the full list of Friday’s announcement.
Player development staff
Director of Player Development: Paul Janish
Director of Minor League Administration: Kathy Potoski
Assistant Director, Baseball Operations: Graham Harboe
Manager, Player Development/International Operations: Grant Flick
Assistant, Player Development/Video: Jack Larimer
Manager, Player Development Latin America Operations: Louis Silverio
Manager, International Player Development/Education: Erin Santana
Player development instructors/rovers
Field Coordinator: Doug Sisson
Assistant Field Coordinator: Justin Jirschele
Pitching Coordinator: Matt Zaleski
Assistant Pitching Coordinator: Curt Hasler
Assistant Pitching Coordinator: Donnie Veal
Pitching Advisor: J.R. Perdew
Hitting Coordinator: Alan Zinter
Assistant Hitting Coordinator: Danny Santin
Infield Coordinator: Ryan Newman
Catching Coordinator: Julio Mosquera
Assistant Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator: Mike Daniel
Rehab Pitching Coach: Hiram Burgos
Hitting Initiatives: Devin DeYoung
Biomechanist: Jason Hashimoto
Medical Coordinator: Scott Takao
Physical Therapy Coordinator: Brooks Klein
Performance Coordinator: Gage Crosgrove
Assistant Performance Coordinator: Sergio Rojas
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Katie Stone
Physical Therapist: Evan Jurjevic
Sports Psychologist: Dr. Rob Seifer
Facility Manager: Joe Lachcik
Minor League Clubhouse Manager: Dan Flood
Assistant Minor League Clubhouse Manager: Bryant Biasotti
Manager: Justin Jirschele
Pitching Coach: R.C. Lichtenstein
Hitting Coach: Cam Seitzer
Bench Coach: Pat Listach
Trainer: Hyeon Kim
Performance Coach: George Timke
Manager: Sergio Santos
Pitching Coach: John Ely
Hitting Coach: Nicky Delmonico
Bench Coach: Ángel Rosario
Trainer: Carson Wooten
Performance Coach: Juan Maldonado
Class A Winston-Salem
Manager: Guillermo Quiroz
Pitching Coach: John Kovalik
Hitting Coach: Jim Rickon
Bench Coach: Darius Day
Trainer: A.J. Smith
Performance Coach: Logan Jones
Class A Kannapolis
Manager: Patrick Leyland
Pitching Coach: Blake Hickman
Hitting Coach: Charlie Romero
Bench Coach: Daniel Milwee
Trainer: Chaerin Yeom
Performance Coach: Donovan Clark
Arizona Complex League White Sox
Manager: Daniel González
Pitching Coach: Jacob Dorris
Hitting Coach: Gerardo Olivares
Assistant Hitting Coach: Mike Gellinger
Development Coach: Nausel Cabrera
Trainer: Jeremy Kneebusch
Performance: Siera Weathers
Dominican Republic Academy/DSL White Sox
Field Coordinator: Julio Bruno
Manager, Complex Operations: Wellington Morrobel
Manager, Administration: Carolina Santos
Manager: Anthony Núñez
Pitching Coach: José Brito
Assistant Pitching Coach: Stolmy Pimentel
Infield Coach: Guillermo Reyes
Assistant Hitting Coach/Catching Coach: Moisés Núñez
Coach: Ángel González
Trainer: Gustavo De La Cruz
Assistant Trainer: Estarlin Rosario
Performance Coach: Fran Batista
Assistant Performance Coach: Carlos Javier
Video Coordinator: Miguel Perez
Lead Educator: Pablo Frías
Education Assistant: Luis Villar