Katz spent the 2020 season as the assistant pitching coach with the San Francisco Giants. But perhaps of the greatest interest to White Sox fans is that he coached Lucas Giolito in high school and has worked with Giolito recently, too, as Giolito transformed from the pitcher with the worst numbers in baseball into an All Star and one of the best arms in the game.
Katz’ departure marks the first for a Giants coach under Gabe Kapler, who assembled the largest coaching staff in the major leagues by hiring 13 assistants ahead of his first season with the club. Katz was one of four pitching coaches and he made a strong impression with many of the Giants’ young relievers and was often seen working closely with starters in the bullpen before games.
Katz’ hiring rules out the possibility of a reunion for La Russa and longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan, who worked together when La Russa managed the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals.
Katz played collegiately at Sacramento State and pitched for four seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Ethan Katz was the pitching coach at Harvard-Westlake High School in Southern California, working not only with Giolito but with a pair of other future major league stars in Max Fried and Jack Flaherty.
After that, Katz spent six years as a minor league coach, working in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization in 2014 and 2015, moving on to the Seattle Mariners’ organization from 2016 through 2018 and then joining the Giants as their assistant minor league pitching coordinator in 2019 prior to his elevation to the big league staff in 2020.
Katz succeeds Cooper, who had an 18-year stint as the White Sox pitching coach and was part of the organization for more than three decades.
Ethan Katz will be tasked with helping to develop the talented but unproven pitchers behind Giolito and Dallas Keuchel in the White Sox starting rotation: Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning and Michael Kopech, among the intriguing arms in the organization. The absence of a reliable third starting-pitching option was a big part of the reason the White Sox made a swift playoff exit this year.