'A lot of it has to be trust' for Renteria

White Sox manager addresses thought process behind decisions

August 21st, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- Those who follow the White Sox might disagree with the amount of bunting called for by manager Rick Renteria. They also might question his various lineup incarnations, including using and his .322 slugging percentage in the cleanup slot.

But Renteria is a man who believes in his convictions and the detailed way he approaches each game within each season. That belief became very evident pregame Tuesday when the usually steady and upbeat Renteria became fiery when asked about the thought process behind moving guys around in the lineups.

“A lot of it has to be trust,” Renteria said. “Most people want to go through just statistically based decisions. OK, I’m not that guy. I trust myself and the things I do. I think there’s a balance.

“I don’t discount numbers. Never have, never will. But I’m a balance guy. I’m not going to appeal to the sabermetrician on a daily basis. Never will. Never want to. Not my intent. If they don’t like it, I don’t really [care]. I do things because I think it’s the right thing for me to do. I know everybody has their opinion.

“Maybe it puts me on the outs. That’s fine. But I’m going to do what I think I need to do with the guys I have.”

This statement certainly was not meant as a dig toward people who employ analytics to help build a winning team. Renteria understands the huge level of importance for that aspect of the game.

Renteria also has conversations with players on a daily basis, using 's desire and comfort for hitting second presently as an example for moving him up higher in Tuesday’s lineup. hit fourth Tuesday, a spot he definitely could anchor in the future, but Renteria added might move to the fourth slot when he returns from injury rehab.

“I know my guys. I know what they are capable of doing. It may not always work out,” Renteria said. “I can’t defend something I can’t quantify because everybody wants history behind it.

“You can’t develop history unless you allow an opportunity for an individual to be put in a particular situation for an extended period of time,” Renteria added.

Robert going strong

Luis Robert launched his 13th home run in 152 at-bats with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday night and his 29th homer over 453 at-bats this season. MLB Pipeline's No. 5 overall prospect is slashing .334/.385/.628 with 29 doubles, 10 triples, 29 home runs, 85 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 36 stolen bases over 110 games this season between Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Charlotte.

Robert, 22, is in position to become the first Minor Leaguer since Mike Cameron in 1996 to bat .300 with 30 doubles, 10 triples, 25 homers, 75 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 35 steals. And he continues over-matching the International League competition.

“All of us are looking forward to the time when that young man continues to progress and join the guys that are here,” Renteria said. “I wish I had a crystal ball and can tell you when that was. He’s certainly doing everything he can to impress upon everybody he would like to join.”

Sanchez sacrificing for success

The 0-2 suicide squeeze laid down by and scoring Anderson in the seventh inning of Monday’s 6-4 victory was his ninth sacrifice bunt, which leads the Majors in the non-pitcher category. Sanchez said Monday was the first time he executed with two strikes.

“It was fun,” Sanchez said. “I asked a couple of pitchers how do you feel if somebody does a squeeze with 0-2, and I saw their reaction. That's part of the game. Do the little things and win games.

“If they ask you to do something, you have to try your best and try to get it done. It was a really good pitch to do it, a high fastball, and I was able to get it done. If you put the ball in play, it's an RBI. You have to do whatever the manager says to do.”

He said it
“When Field of Dreams happened, I was like, ‘You know what? We should investigate.’ He was busy, but we did ask.”
-- White Sox television play-by-play voice Jason Benetti on trying to get Kevin Costner as a guest analyst this past weekend, tied into the White Sox playing the Yankees in 2020 in Dyersville, Iowa.