Tony La Russa’s coaching staff is starting to come together.
Sources confirmed reports Thursday that Giants assistant pitching coach Ethan Katz will be the replacement for Don Cooper as White Sox pitching coach. Katz, 37, was right-hander Lucas Giolito’s pitching coach at Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) High School on a staff that included future major league standouts Max Fried and Jack Flaherty.
After coaching in the Angels and Mariners minor league systems, Katz was hired by the Giants as assistant minor league pitching coordinator for the Giants in 2019. He was promoted to assistant pitching coach last December.
The Sox are expected to announce full coaching staff appointments next week. Hitting coach Frank Menechino is expected back, while third base coach Nick Capra will not return. Assistant hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh was named Tigers hitting coach to newly hired manager AJ Hinch’s staff last week.
Bullpen coach Curt Hasler, bench coach Joe McEwing and first base coach Daryl Boston were also expected to be considered for La Russa’s staff.
Katz represents a distinct pivot away from Cooper, 64, who had been in the organization since 1988 and was pitching coach for 18 seasons, and for La Russa, who had talked to his lifelong pitching coach Dave Duncan from his days with the Sox, Athletics and Cardinals about returning to join him.
Katz helped the Giants shift to increased usage of advanced data on the major league and minor league levels, and according to the San Jose Mercury News, Katz made an impression with many of the Giants young relief pitchers and also worked closely with starters in the bullpen preparing for games.