The Chicago White Sox are bringing in Ethan Katz to be their new pitching coach
For the first time in over 18 years, the Chicago White Sox are going to have a new face as their pitching coach. The team decided to move on from Don Cooper at the end of the 2020 season and I personally think that the time was right. I and many others were fans of the long-time pitching coach on the south side but it was time to move in a new direction. Many people have good memories of Cooper being a major piece to the teams of the early 2000s as well as the 2005 World Series team.
He was a great coach for a very long time and really got the best out of his guys. Guys like Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, and Freddy Garcia had great success under Don Cooper. However, as time went on and some of these guys left the team, the pitching staff slowly began to struggle.
Some fans were really starting to clamor for Cooper to be gone after 2016 when the team fully embraced the rebuild. You can argue that was the right time to do it as the Sox were going in a new direction with a completely different pitching staff.
As time went on you could see that the fanbase was starting to lose faith in Cooper. The early struggles of Lucas Giolito and the current struggles of Reynaldo Lopez were big reasons why. After an awful 2018 campaign, Giolito sought outside help from Ethan Katz, a minor league coach at the time.
That brings us to where the White Sox are at the present day. It was announced that the Sox had made their decisions on Tony La Russa’s coaching staff and bringing in Katz to be the pitching coach was one of the new additions. This will be a great addition.
Katz is a really young coach who could someday go on to be a big-league manager. He was a minor league pitcher for a few teams across five years but never made it to the Majors, unfortunately.
His hand in helping Giolito turn around his career has been well documented. He was even his high school coach so the two go quite a ways back. While he only has one year of MLB coaching experience, serving as the Giants assistant pitching coach last year, Katz is a very forward-thinking type of coach who was brought up in the age of analytics.
The new style will be quite a refreshing change of pace from Don Cooper who was very much brought up in the old school way of thinking and didn’t care much for metric based stats. With all these young arms that the Sox have it will be fascinating to see how well he can develop these guys. As someone who did not agree with the hiring of La Russa at all, I think this is a great step forward for the White Sox who look like a team with World Series aspirations heading into 2021.