Former Phillies player joins Tony La Russa, White Sox staff

Miguel Cairo #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Miguel Cairo #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

Miguel Cairo, former Phillies infielder, has been named White Sox bench coach.

Philadelphia Phillies fans may or may not remember versatile infielder Miguel Cairo on the 2009 National League champions roster. After all, he donned red pinstripes just one season, playing in 31 games — including two each in the National League Division Series and National League Championship Series opposite the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

Eleven years later, Cairo, 46, heads into another aspect of the game in which he played 17 seasons from 1996 to 2012. On Thursday, The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reported that the Venezuela native has been named the Chicago White Sox bench coach as part of Hall of Famer Tony La Russa‘s coaching staff. Cairo was most recently a New York Yankees minor-league infielder coordinator.

As a Phillie, Cairo slashed just .267/.283/.422 across 27 regular season games and 47 plate appearances; he produced eight singles, a pair of doubles, one triple, one home run, and two RBI, while failing to walk and striking out four times. Combined in the 2009 postseason, Cairo went hitless across five plate appearances with one strikeout spanning the first two series; he did not receive a plate appearance in the World Series defeat to the Yankees.

While his bat was not as effective as most of the other Phillies infielders, his versatility in the field was valuable; Cairo did not commit a single error across 55 1/3 combined innings at the second base, shortstop, and third base positions.

Cairo played for nine different teams across his MLB career: the Toronto Blue Jays (1996), Chicago Cubs (1997), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2000), Chicago Cubs (2001), St. Louis Cardinals (2001-03), Yankees (2004, 2006-07), New York Mets (2005), Seattle Mariners (2007-08), Phillies (2009), and Cincinnati Reds (2010-12). Combined across 1,490 career games, he slashed .264/.314/.361 with 193 doubles, 34 triples, 41 home runs, and 394 RBI.

The Phillies are expected to make a coaching staff hire announcement of their own, as soon as this week; fellow former New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds player Caleb Cotham is reportedly the favorite to be named pitching coach, replacing Bryan Price on manager Joe Girardi‘s staff.

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