It’s no secret around baseball anymore that the A’s have one of the best coaching staffs in the league not just in Oakland but in all parts of their organization as well. A lot of the mangers and coaches in the organization however are primed to move on to bigger and better opportunities, most notably A’s Bench Coach Chip Hale. One of those coaches has already jumped ship as it was reported today by MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that Minor League Hitting Instructor Todd Steverson has accepted the Hitting Coach position with the Chicago White Sox.
Steverson played in the Major Leagues for two seasons with the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres in 1995 and 1996. His minor league career sandwiched around those two seasons until he finally called it quits in 1998. That is when he became Minor League manger of multiple teams including the Stockton Ports and Sacramento River Cats. He became most known for his stint with the Ports when he was suspended a year for telling a position player who was pitching to balk to lose the game. His explanation for the move was that he did not want to get any of his players hurt by throwing out pitchers and over extending them or putting out position players to pitch and them hurting their arms. The California League rules state that a coach cannot make that move, in the nature of competition, thus the suspension.
Steverson has also served as a first base coach for the A’s. His experience in multiple coaching positions should do him a great service. The A’s for the most part are not known for their offense. However, Steverson has overseen a lot of productive offensive players in his short time as Minor League Hitting Instructor. Grant Green, Daric Barton, Josh Donaldson, among others. His managerial experience should work well alongside a young and rebuilding Chicago White Sox team.
There is no word on who will replace Steverson as the A’s Minor League Hitting Instructor yet. However, Rickey Henderson is a Minor League Roving Instructor currently and that would be a promotion of sorts and get him to have a bigger role in the development of young players. This position will probably take awhile to fill since it is important, but if Chip Hale leaves for a managerial position his vacant one will take precedence as the most important one to fill quickly.