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White Sox add Daryl Boston, Bobby Thigpen to coaching staff

Chicago White Sox Vs TampBay Rays. White Sox starting pitcher No.44 Jake Peavy fires plate.  I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago White Sox Vs Tampa Bay Rays. White Sox starting pitcher No.44 Jake Peavy fires to the plate. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 29, 2012 6:33AM

The White Sox shuffled their coaching staff Tuesday, promoting Daryl Boston to first-base coach and naming former Sox closer Bobby Thigpen as bullpen coach.

Thigpen replaces Juan Nieves, who left to become the Boston Red Sox’ pitching coach. Harold Baines, the team’s first-base coach the last seven years, moves to the new position of assistant hitting coach.

“It’s more his passion of what he enjoys doing,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.

Boston, 49, spent the last 12 seasons as the Sox’ minor-league outfield coordinator and has served as a hitting coach with three teams in the farm system.

A Sox first-round draft pick in 1981, he played 11 major-league seasons with the Sox and three other teams from 1984 to ’94. Boston, who was with the big-league club last September, will oversee the outfield defense and baserunning.

“Sitting in the dugout [in September] I noticed we definitely need to improve our leads at first,’’ Boston said. “With the exception of maybe [Paul] Konerko, everybody should be able to go from first to third or break up a double play to give us an extra at-bat.’’

Thigpen spent the last four seasons as a pitching coach for the Sox’ Class AA Birmingham (2012) and Class A Winston-Salem (2009-11) teams. Thigpen also managed at Bristol from 2007-08.

“I’ve known Thiggy my entire career,’’ Ventura said. “The work he’s done throughout the minors and with the players we have, and being a bullpen guy, he’s a natural fit and one I’m very comfortable with.’’

“Working with Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] is going to be great,’’ Thigpen said. “A lot of the [current pitchers] I had in the minors, so that will make the transition easier for me because I’m familiar with some of them.’’

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