Vizquel sets sights on managing in major leagues

 
 
Updated 2/21/2019 6:18 PM
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  • Omar Vizquel was a huge success managing the Chicago White Sox's high Class A Winston-Salem farm team last year. Vizquel is going to manage AA Birmingham this season and he wants to eventually manage in the major leagues.

    Omar Vizquel was a huge success managing the Chicago White Sox's high Class A Winston-Salem farm team last year. Vizquel is going to manage AA Birmingham this season and he wants to eventually manage in the major leagues. Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Earlier this week, Bruce Bochy announced this is going to be his final season managing the San Francisco Giants.

A list of likely successors has already surfaced, and Omar Vizquel's name is on it.

Vizquel, a Hall of Fame candidate after a stellar 24-year playing career that included a stint with the White Sox in 2010-11, is entering his second season managing in the Sox's minor-league system.

Last year, he guided high Class A Winston-Salem to an 85-54 record and was voted Carolina League manager of the year.

"It was awesome," the 51-year-old Vizquel said. "We had a great year. I think we accomplished most of the goals that we wanted for the young guys. We got a lot of great results from them. I think we put them in situations where we wanted them to succeed and things came out over the top."

This season, Vizquel is going to manage Class AA Birmingham. In time, he wants to fill the same role in the major leagues.

"Obviously, yeah," Vizquel said. "I'm here to prepare maybe in the future to be a manger. This is the way you do it. One of the reasons that I was in Detroit (as first-base coach), it helped me out a lot being around great people that know about the game. There's still a lot more to learn and there is a lot more information coming out, different things. But you can balance it out, all the success you had in your career with all the managers you had around with everything that goes on in the game right now."

Back where he started:

After going 9-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts for Class AAA Charlotte last season, Donn Roach ended the year with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.

The move was money motivated, but Roach is back in the White Sox's camp this spring and he's scheduled to start against the Dodgers Saturday in a split-squad game.

"It's really cool," Roach said. "I don't think I've ever actually started a Cactus League game. Always been the second or third guy. I'm excited for it."

Roach pitched in 16 games for the Padres in 2014, he made a start for the Cubs the next season and made 4 relief appearances for the Mariners in 2016.

This year, Roach is hoping to join the White Sox's staff at some point during the season.

"I really enjoyed my time here last year," the 29-year-old righty said. "I want to be somewhere where they want to win and it's a really great atmosphere."

Old friends:

When Omar Vizquel was breaking into professional baseball with the Mariners in the late 1980s, he remembers a veteran player that helped him make the transition.

It was current White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

"He's the same guy that you see right now," Vizquel said. "He was a communicator. I remember coming in at 20 years old in my first spring training, he was already on the (Mariners). He was always talking to me, advising me about how to play the game the right way."

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