SCOTTSDALLE, Ariz. -- There will be times during the 2017 season when White Sox third-base coach Nick Capra will have to answer for sends he made that didn't quite work out.It's the nature of the beast for the job Capra holds, a position he hasn't executed on a regular basis
SCOTTSDALLE, Ariz. -- There will be times during the 2017 season when White Sox third-base coach Nick Capra will have to answer for sends he made that didn't quite work out.
It's the nature of the beast for the job Capra holds, a position he hasn't executed on a regular basis since managing Class A Kannapolis to a 74-59 record in 2005. But those questions certainly won't alter the aggressive style of baserunning Capra intends to push as laid out by manager Rick Renteria.
"We'll obviously play the score, but we are going to be aggressive on the bases as we can be," Capra said. "Take a chance here or there. It's going to be our philosophy: our mentality is be aggressive on the bases."
Many people point to the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton and the impressive ensuing prospect return as the beginning of the White Sox current rebuild. In reality, an earlier hint was being given toward a move in that direction during the final month of the 2016 season when Capra and Curt Hasler joined the Major League team.
Capra served as director of player development from 2012-16, while Hasler, now the bullpen coach, worked from 2011-16 as the Minor League pitching coordinator. Both have been with the organization for more than 20 years (Hasler 26, Capra 22) and fit the qualities Renteria was looking for in assembling his staff.
"You are talking about two very experienced, very well-qualified people," Renteria said. "Both having experience with all the players within the system, both again having an extensive background in player development and just being in the game.
"It bodes well for us. This spring has been really going well. Our connection is good. Obviously they were both with us last year. So everything expected is actually playing out."
With MLBPipeline.com in the process of revealing their top Minor League systems, the White Sox are guaranteed to be in the Top 3. Capra oversaw the system the last two years when the team began to develop its critical mass and core, as general manager Rick Hahn previously described. Now that job belongs to Chris Getz, who has the perfect blend of knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for what he's doing per Capra.
Meanwhile Capra is happy to have this new challenge. He's running Spring Training camp for a second straight year, while also assisting bench coach Joe McEwing with the infielders and preaching that forceful baserunning style.
"Everybody should be a good baserunner, even the guys who aren't speed-burners," Capra said. "They should be able to do the little things, get good leads, get good secondaries. Hopefully read balls in the dirt at first base, advance on balls in the dirt from first to second.
"Get a good secondary lead on a base hit to the outfield. Just kind of little things that we needed to work on to continue to do."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.