One of the top catchers in the game, Yasmani Grandal doesn’t need much outside help keeping his skills sharp.
But with capable backup James McCann now wearing a Mets uniform, the White Sox are left with the inexperienced trio of Zack Collins, Yermin Mercedes and Seby Zavala behind Grandal.
Veteran Jonathan Lucroy was signed to a minor-league contract last week and he’s an obvious insurance policy.
On Wednesday, the Sox added Jerry Narron to new manager Tony La Russa’s staff. His official title is major-league instructor, but Narron will devote much of his time working with the catchers.
“The role is going to be major-league catching instructor, or major-league catching coach, and just talking to Tony it will probably involve some other things also,” Narron said. “Looking at the talent the White Sox have, the year they had a year ago and with Tony coming in, it’s a great opportunity to work with some really good players and an opportunity to win. That’s why we’re all in the game, to win.”
The 65-year-old Narron was a major-league catcher for eight years with the Yankees, Mariners and Angels.
Narron, who was the Red Sox’s bench coach last season, managed the Rangers in 2001-02 and the Reds in 2005-07. Overall, he’s been a major-league manager or coach for 26 years.
“I was with the Red Sox last year and a lot of people didn’t even know I wasn’t working,” Narron said. “I talked with Dave McKay. Dave was a coach with Arizona (2017-19) when I was there. Dave asked me if I still wanted to work and I said absolutely. I think Dave was probably the first guy to contact Tony. At the time, the staff had almost been set and Tony just said he’d see what he could do and he’d love to have me there.
“I don’t even know if Tony knew I was out of a job or not or wasn’t working. When he said there was an opportunity there, it closed the door on a couple of other places I thought about going.”