White Sox name Katz pitching coach (source)
CHICAGO -- Ethan Katz will be the next White Sox pitching coach, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Thursday. The White Sox did not comment on the potential hiring but figure to announce their full coaching staff early next week.
Katz, 37, certainly is no stranger to White Sox staff ace Lucas Giolito. Katz coached Giolito at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where Katz also coached fellow Major League standout hurlers in Atlanta’s Max Fried and St. Louis’ Jack Flaherty. Katz and Giolito also worked together at Harvard-Westlake in the offseason.
It was Katz who helped Giolito make offseason changes to get back on track following a rough 2018 campaign where the right-hander posted a 6.13 ERA over 32 starts. Giolito deserves much of the credit for his mound development and growth, but he has finished in the Top 10 of American League Cy Young Award voting in each of the last two seasons (tied for sixth in ’19, seventh in ’20) following those offseason adjustments with Katz.
Katz was first hired as the Giants' assistant Minor League pitching coordinator in 2019 and then was promoted to be San Francisco's assistant pitching coach last December. He has also coached in the Angels and Mariners organizations. Katz replaces Don Cooper, who parted ways with the White Sox along with manager Rick Renteria after the 2020 season, which marked the team’s first playoff appearance since '08 and first finish over .500 since '12.
Cooper spent 33 seasons in the White Sox organization and took over as big league pitching coach on July 22, 2002. The White Sox also will need to replace assistant hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, who was recently named hitting coach for the Tigers.
First-base coach Daryl Boston and assistant pitching coach Curt Hasler are strong possibilities to return from the 2020 coaching staff, with new manager Tony La Russa emphasizing continuity from last season’s success during his introductory Zoom press conference. Frank Menechino completed an impressive first season as hitting coach and almost certainly will be back. The White Sox offense finished first or second in the AL in six categories.