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Renteria lending helping hand to White Sox

Bench coach is asset to Ventura's staff, Latin American players
MLB.com @scottmerkin

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rick Renteria did his first group media session following Sunday's White Sox workout at Camelback Ranch, more than one week into camp.

It's not unusual for a bench coach to go extended periods of time without speaking to the media. But the understated, classy Renteria has quickly adopted the White Sox overall mantra of flying under the radar while executing his job with great skill.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rick Renteria did his first group media session following Sunday's White Sox workout at Camelback Ranch, more than one week into camp.

It's not unusual for a bench coach to go extended periods of time without speaking to the media. But the understated, classy Renteria has quickly adopted the White Sox overall mantra of flying under the radar while executing his job with great skill.

"Just trying to get to know everybody a little bit at a time," Renteria said. "The biggest thing I wanted to do coming on board was just hopefully not getting in anybody's way, and just impart knowledge and have conversations like we had over there with all the coaches. We share information. We go over the days at the end of the day.

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"[Manager] Robin [Ventura] comes in and we talk about what we might need to improve or go over and to this point I'm extremely happy just being a part of the club and the guys, and they've welcomed me with open arms. It's just good to be back out here. We all take it one day at a time and we just keep moving forward in the same fashion."

Renteria managed the Cubs in 2014 and served as bench coach for the Padres from 2011-13. Ventura reached out to Renteria after he was let go by the Cubs, but Renteria didn't join the team until this season. He has served as a complement to Ventura, and also has been a boon in terms of direct communications with the Latin American players.

White Sox Spring Training information | Schedule

"Make no mistake about it, Robin is the manager," Renteria said. "If he needs something from me, I'm here to be a sounding board. If there's something I see that he might be involved in something else, I might mention it to him.

"I've kind of always worked that way. I've never really looked beyond where I was at. All those things ultimately take care of themselves, and right now my job is to collaborate with all the coaches in that room and all the players, and hopefully look forward to having some fun and we can all enjoy it."

Engel's whirlwind year continues
Adam Engel has gone from a talented but raw Minor League player in the Carolina League at the outset of the 2015 season to big league camp with a chance to help the White Sox during '16 over the course of approximately one year.

"It's been an incredible year, just as far as, as much as I've learned this year from all the different coaches and just different instructors that I've had an opportunity to work with," Engel said. "Just learning a lot and getting plenty of opportunities to apply what I've been learning. It has been great."

Engel, 24, swiped 65 bases for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem last season. He then earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Arizona Fall League. While jumping to the Majors in such short time presents quite a challenge, Engel has a skill set that could lend itself to a September promotion.

"He can get you a bag and play solid defense at the big league level probably now already," general manager Rick Hahn said.

"I try to not buy too much into what people are saying," Engel said. "Just continue to work every day and where I'm at the end of the year is where I'm at. Going to continue to work hard regardless of what people are saying."

They Said It
"Extremely dedicated. Not afraid to work. Any little thing that you see that might be affecting his play, he wants to know about it, and he wants it addressed immediately. When you go out there and work with him, he won't stop. You've got to kind of control him a little bit. Otherwise, he'll go until he drops." -- Renteria on Jose Abreu.

"We're very careful about him. [Head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] has him going through stages of how he's going to get better." -- Ventura on Adam Eaton and his throwing program as part of working his way back from offseason nerve decompression surgery on his left shoulder.

"There's been great energy in camp. We're getting a lot of work in and a lot is them doing it on their own." -- Ventura on the first week of Spring Training.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

 

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