Ethan Katz spoke on a conference call on Thursday where he had some interesting things to say about the state of Chicago White Sox pitching.
It is obvious that there are some changes that will be made and some things that will be kept the same. It is good to know that these conversations are being had.
One of the most interesting things that Katz admitted was the fact that they need another starter. With what they have right now, they won't be in a good spot every fifth day.
You can pencil in Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Michael Kopech, and Lucas Giolito. With Johnny Cueto (who saved their rotation in 2022) likely gone, they have to explore another starter.
The Chicago White Sox are very lucky to have Ethan Katz on their side.
Another thing that was mentioned was the fact that Reynaldo Lopez wants to be a closer. He believes that he can do that job.
Of course, the White Sox have a closer in Liam Hendriks and he is still one of the best in the game. He could become a trade chip if the White Sox want to make Lopez a closer and that could help them add a piece that can help them.
The timing of this comment is very odd and certainly suggests that a few changes could absolutely be coming to the bullpen.
Michael Kopech didn't make his final few starts of the season as he underwent knee surgery. With the White Sox out of it at the end, it was a smart decision. There were some updates on him as his rehab is taking a little bit longer than expected but he should be ready for spring training.
They even have a plan for him once spring training starts which suggests that they believe that he will be more than good to go but they have to ease him back in. They certainly have him in their plans as one of their starting pitchers.
Another big topic right now when it comes to White Sox pitching is Garrett Crochet. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2022 so he didn't play in a single game this year.
The White Sox are planning on him being fully ready for spring training. The timing of the surgery made it so that he missed all of 2022 but won't have to miss any of 2023. That is good news as they did it at the right time.
Although the White Sox do need a fifth starter, it doesn't sound like Katz sees that being the case. Crochet probably won't be a starter (that's what he was drafted as) in 2023 but Katz did say that he could be a multi-inning reliever.
You might see from Crochet what we saw from Kopech in 2021. A superweapon reliever that can go for multiple innings or just one inning is always nice to have. Reynaldo Lopez did a great job performing in that role in 2022.
Ethan Katz is a smart pitching coach. He has done some great work for guys across the league before joining the White Sox and now he is impacting this organization in a positive way.
It hasn't all been pretty and there are things for him to help guys work on but a lot of results have been good. Both of Katz's years as the pitching coach of this team have resulted in a top-three Cy Young finish for someone.
Katz was one of the first notable people to congratulate Dylan Cease on Wednesday night when he came in second place.
The future is bright for White Sox pitching with Katz in charge as long as he continues to develop his style and stay fresh.
The players on this team will largely benefit from his presence in the clubhouse and helping the staff. There is a reason that he stuck around with the coaching change. Hopefully, the offense does much better at supporting the pitching in 2023.