SF Giants assistant pitching coach Ethan Katz has been hired as Tony La Russa’s new pitching coach by the Chicago White Sox.
The SF Giants have had their first coach of the Gabe Kapler era poached by another organization. On Thursday, according to a report by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Giants assistant pitching coach Ethan Katz has been hired as the pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox. There he will work alongside new manager Tony La Russa.
Last season was his first on a big-league staff, however, he’d spent six years as a minor-league coach between the Angels, Mariners, and Giants organizations. Prior to that, Katz was also the pitching coach at Harvard-Westlake High School, one of the premier prospect factories in Southern California. During his time there he worked with current big-leaguers like Max Fried, Jack Flaherty, and current White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Katz replaces Don Cooper, who had spent the previous 18 years as the White Sox pitching coach. In fact, while the news of Rick Renteria’s firing was baffling to many, Chicago’s decision to part with Cooper was as perplexing to some.
Following the news, Kerry Crowley of The Bay Area News Group shared that Katz “made a really strong impression” in 2020 under pitching coach Andrew Bailey. The Giants pitching staff may not have been considered one of the best in baseball, but a number of veterans, like Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, and Jarlin Garcia had career years.
In Chicago, Katz will be joining one of the most exciting young teams in baseball under some of the most complicated circumstances. La Russa has not managed a big-league team in years and was recently charged with a DUI. Already an unpopular choice based on his statements on player empowerment, La Russa has earned a massive amount of skepticism. At this point, it seems that the White Sox are insistent on keeping him, but that could change in an instant. How that impacts Katz and other assistants remain to be seen.
While the SF Giants will be searching for another assistant pitching coach, Ethan Katz is surely excited to work with a number of young pitchers in the Chicago White Sox organization. Few teams have as many young prospects to try to mold into good big-league starters. Perhaps players like Dane Dunning, Michael Kopech, and Dylan Cease just need a little help from Katz to finally take the next step in their development.