With a source confirming that Greg Walker will indeed be back for his eighth full season as the White Sox hitting coach, the entire staff is set to return.
Bench coach Joey Cora recently finished second for the vacant Milwaukee Brewers manager opening.
While coaching stability exists for now, the situation might not be so stable a year from now. Heck, it wasn’t all that stable just over a month ago when manager Ozzie Guillen was trying to figure out where he stood in the eyes of organization decision-makers Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf.
The focus will continue to be on Guillen's situation again in the upcoming season. His contract is up after 2011 with a team option available for 2012.
The Florida Marlins manager job figures to remain a possibility. The Marlins were reportedly granted permission to talk to Guillen this past season and their interest figures to remain high despite hiring Edwin Rodriguez, who spent the last two years as the organization’s Triple-A manager. The Marlins are set to open a new ballpark in 2012.
If Guillen goes, it is expected that his right-hand man Cora would likely go as well. The possibility remains, though, that Cora could take over the White Sox if Guillen departs. Cora could also be up for other manager openings after the season.
Then there is Walker. He already needed time this offseason to ponder his future. Although he didn’t complain about it, the thankless nature of his job is well known. It’s how it goes for just about all hitting coaches really. Whenever an offense that appears to have talent starts to struggle, the hitting coach is put into question. When the offense is on track it’s merely a respite before the criticism comes again.
How long Walker is willing to endure the rigors of a major-league season remain to be seen.
It looks like anything short of an American League Central title in 2011 and solid showing in the postseason will create rumors of coaching departures and replacements. That's just how it works for a staff that has been in place for some time and has been to the playoffs only once in the past four seasons.