WASHINGTON — New general manager Chris Getz has been busy piecing together components to bolster the White Sox’ front office, including adding Josh Barfield as assistant general manager Tuesday.
Barfield, 40, had been the Diamondbacks’ farm director since 2019 and was a D-backs scout for three seasons before that.
The Sox also are adding Gene Watson to Getz’s brain trust in pro scouting. Brian Bannister, the Giants’ director of pitching and a former teammate of Getz’s with the Royals, will take on a similar role with the Sox.
“Chris has assembled a really, really good team around him,” manager Pedro Grifol said after the Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night. “I met Josh not too long ago. He was extremely impressive. Great presence, smart guy, really good demeanor. Bright, bright guy.
“Bannister is a brilliant pitching mind. He brings plans to the organization. I’m excited to work with him, as are [pitching coaches Ethan Katz and Curt Hasler], to help us move this thing forward.”
Watson has close ties to Grifol and Getz. He rejoined the Royals in 2022 as vice president of major-league scouting and assistant GM after spending most of the 2021 season as the Angels’ senior advisor to the GM for major-league operations.
Watson worked for the Royals from 2006 to 2020 — as a major-league scout from 2006 to 2008, as coordinator of pro scouting from 2009 to 2011, as director of pro scouting from 2012 to 2017, and as senior director of pro scouting/assistant to the GM from 2018 to 2020.
“I’ve known Gene 13, 14 years — one of the most respected guys in the game,” Grifol said. “He’s put a ton of deals together for World Series teams, is a wealth of knowledge and one of the better scouts in the game.”
Getz was assistant GM for player development before being hired as the Sox’ primary decision-maker Aug. 31.
Robert inches toward 40 homers
Outfielder Luis Robert Jr. is wrapping up a historic season, and while it’s not exactly in blazing fashion — he was 1-for-20 entering Tuesday — he hit his 36th homer in Monday’s 6-1 win against the Nationals and his 37th on Tuesday, putting 40 homers within reach with 10 games to play.
“I wanted to [get 40], and I still want to, but I have to be realistic,” Robert said through a translator. “It’s not that I feel good enough with the season I’ve had, but to be honest, I’ve reached most of the goals I had for this season already. Whatever happens the next couple [weeks], it’ll be OK.”
Robert is the only player in Sox history with at least 35 homers, 35 doubles, 75 RBI, 85 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in the same season. No other player in the major leagues has done that this season. He hit his 36th double in the ninth inning Tuesday.
Robert, Frank Thomas (1998, 2002), Albert Belle (2000) and Magglio Ordonez (2003) are the only players in Sox history with 36 homers and 36 doubles in a season.
Kopech to start as opener
Michael Kopech, who has made three relief appearances since being pulled from the starting rotation, will be the Sox’ opener Wednesday afternoon in the series finale against the Nationals. Jesse Scholtens was the scheduled starter.
This and that
Jose Urena pitched six innings of one-run, four-hit ball, striking out four and walking none.
† Bryan Shaw allowed Joey Meneses pinch three-run homer in the seventh, erasing a 2-1 Sox lead.
† Yoan Moncada hit his ninth homer and scored Robert for the Sox’ third run with a single in the ninth.