By Charlie Roumeliotis
When the White Sox hired Jim Thome to serve as a special assistant to Rick Hahn, the club's senior vice president and general manager, the organization expected the former slugger to bring his on-field work ethic to the front office.
And Hahn says Thome's contribution has been nothing short of that.
"He's been great," Hahn said in a conference call with Sox season ticket holders on Thursday. "He's done everything from visit guys down in the minors to work with individual hitters to give Buddy Bell and Kenny and me his opinion on guys. He's been out to instructional league in the Fall league, again, to in part be Jim Thome and in part to let young players pick the mind of a future Hall of Famer."
However, the Sox general manager says not to expect the team to hire Thome, whose 612 career home runs rank seventh on MLB's all-time list, as their next hitting coach.
But also don't count out the future Hall-of-Famer on making his way back in the dugout as a coach in the future.
"I think Jim has a very high ceiling when it comes to being involved in coaching at some point in the future," Hahn said. "I don't think that he's going to be our next hitting coach. As I said at the time when we started the search, right now, I prefer someone who's been in that role before for where we are and where we're headed. I suspect that Jim will not only continue to be a great help to the baseball department in 2014, but at some point in the future, you're going to see him back in uniform in some coaching capacity."