White Sox announce player development staff

Former Major Leaguer Grudzielanek to serve as Triple-A manager

The White Sox on Wednesday announced their player development staff and assignments for the 2017 season under new director of player development Chris Getz, including the appointment of former Major League infielder Mark Grudzielanek as the manager for Triple-A Charlotte.

Grudzielanek, a former All-Star who played 15 years in the Majors, joins the organization after spending the past two years with the D-backs. He guided Class A Kane County to an 84-54 record and a postseason berth in 2015 in his only season as manager, before working as an assistant coordinator in '16.

"We're excited to have Mark join the organization," Getz said. "He was the guy we identified early on. He had an extensive career as a player. We got him from Arizona and he was well thought of over there. He's a guy with a high ceiling and is very knowledgeable. We're excited to add him to our Triple-A managerial position. I think he'll be a great asset, not only now, but long term."

Julio Vinas, who previously had served as Triple-A manager, slides in as the manager for Double-A Birmingham, with 2005 White Sox World Series champion Willie Harris taking the reins for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

Justin Jirshele, who played in the White Sox organization from 2012-15, will manage Class A Kannapolis, while Tim Esmay and Ryan Newman take on managerial roles for Rookie-level Great Falls and the Arizona League White Sox, respectively.

John Ely (Great Falls) joins former A's and Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty (Charlotte) as newcomers to the organization's pitching development team.

The White Sox also promoted Richard Dotson from Charlotte pitching coach to the system's pitching coordinator. He had served as Charlotte's pitching coach from 2008-2016.

"Dotson going to the pitching coordinator role is something we're excited about," Getz said. "He's a great person for that role. He's very intelligent and relates well to players. I experienced him as a coach when I played in the Minor Leagues and I never met anyone who didn't like him. It's because of his people skills and ability to teach."

Chicago also announced that Mike Gellinger, who is entering his 29th year in the White Sox organization, will be the new hitting coordinator.

"He's got a great temperament about him and a great understanding of hitting," Getz said. "He also has a great ability to relate to the player and get his point across to teach them the skills to have a long and successful career."

Kirk Champion will also be the new director of Minor League instruction after serving as the field coordinator since 2012.

"He's been with the organization for a long time," Getz said. "He's a guy who has experienced a lot of roles and has a good feel for the organization. He's going to be very helpful to me from a selfish standpoint because he knows the lay of the land. He's got a great feel for pitching and the offensive side of the game, so it's a nice blend."

Rhett Bollinger has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.