White Sox add former manager Jerry Narron to Tony La Russa's coaching staff

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Vinnie Duber
·2 min read
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Sox add former manager Narron to La Russa's coaching staff originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox beefed up Tony La Russa's coaching staff Wednesday with a former major league manager.

Jerry Narron, who spent parts of five seasons in the manager's chair during the 2000s with the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds, was announced as the team's newest major league instructor.

Narron's days as a major league coach stretch back to 1993 and have lasted 26 seasons in total. He has a specialty in catching, which he did as a player in the 1970s and 1980s. La Russa managed against Narron when he played and then managed against him decades later when the two were division rivals in the NL Central, Narron's Reds often squaring off against La Russa's St. Louis Cardinals.

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Though he spent the last several seasons with the Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, Narron spent time last offseason working with former White Sox catcher James McCann, who he helped transform into a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.

In their announcement, the White Sox did not specify Narron's role past his title of major league instructor, but previous reporting from The Athletic's James Fegan indicated he will work with the team's catchers.

While the White Sox top catcher, Yasmani Grandal, already owns a reputation as one of the best defensive catchers in the game, Narron could be of great use to the White Sox in molding whichever backstop ends up behind Grandal on the depth chart in 2021. Zack Collins and Yermín Mercedes have both impressed swinging the bat in the minor leagues, but both have outstanding questions regarding their defensive ability. Certainly, that's where Narron could provide some assistance.

Additionally, the White Sox just added veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy on a reported minor league deal. Lucroy spent time with Narron in Boston last year, and the two had a lengthy tenure together with the Milwaukee Brewers, where Lucroy made a pair of All-Star teams and Narron spent five seasons as Ron Roenicke's bench coach. Lucroy's arrival adds another name to the mix for that backup catcher spot, and his familiarity with Narron — not to mention his veteran experience — could pay off.

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