The Atlanta Braves will be looking for a new Assistant Hitting Coach. José Castro, who has been with the Braves since 2015, has found a new job with the Chicago White Sox.
The Atlanta Braves have been pretty fortunate over the last several years to not lose too many members of their coaching staff. In many cases, assistant coaches from successful teams end up getting poached by other clubs as they try to move up the coaching ladder. While the Braves have done well to keep the band together, they did lose one of their assistants to the Chicago White Sox today.
Castro originally joined the Braves’ staff prior to the 2015 season, when he was hired as the assistant hitting coach under the Fredi Gonzalez staff. He joined alongside Kevin Seitzer and survived the managerial change in 2016.
The Cuban-born coach had previously been part of the Seattle Mariners major league staff in 2008 and the Chicago Cubs staff in 2014.
Interestingly, the White Sox hired a former Brave to man the role of Assistant Hitting Coach. The team announced that Chris Johnson would be a part of the major league staff last week, although his official role wasn’t announced until today. Johnson played for Atlanta from 2013-2015. In 2013, he parlayed a .394 BABIP into an ill-advised three-year contract extension, which he did not live up to.
What José Castro’s departure means for Atlanta
While Castro’s role never grew past the position of Assistant, he almost assuredly played a huge part in transforming the team’s approach. Prior to joining the staff alongside Seitzer, the club only hit 123 homers, which was 11th in the league. Last season, the team hit 243, first in the NL.
While Seitzer, along with Bobby Magallanes, another assistant hitting coach who joined the club in 2021, remains on the team’s staff, the Braves will probably look to replace Castro’s role with another coach who shares a similar philosophy. It would also not surprise me if the next assistant hitting coach has a Latino background like Castro.