How is Michael Kopech’s recovery? And how will the pitch clock affect the staff? Chicago White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz weighs in.

Ethan Katz’s communication with Chicago White Sox pitchers was limited last offseason because of the lockout.

There’s no such hurdle facing the pitching coach this time.

“I get to contact our guys as much as I want, which is always good,” Katz said Thursday during a video conference call. “You know where they are, answer their questions. Watch video, do videos with them, to stay on top of everything and make sure they are having the best offseason possible.

“We just gave them their player plans, so they have a lot of information that they are digesting and they are starting to ramp up already. They are excited. We are going to get a lot of work done this offseason and be ready to go.”

Katz is returning for his third season with the Sox, one of three coaching positions announced when the team introduced Pedro Grifol as the manager. Charlie Montoyo is the bench coach and Curt Hasler is back as the bullpen coach. The Sox anticipate announcing the remainder of the staff in the coming weeks.

“We feel really good about where our pitching program is and think Ethan is one of the finest pitching coaches around in the game,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Nov. 8 at the GM Meetings in Las Vegas. “It was important to make sure he was going to be part of the next staff.”

Katz said conversations with Grifol “have been great.”

“There’s been a lot of dialogue,” Katz said. “Figuring out where guys are right now, just talking about the team from the pitching standpoint. How it’s going to be from last year to this year, that comes in due time. But so far conversations have been fantastic, the communication has been really good.

“I coached in the minor leagues for a long, long time and every manager I’ve ever been with I’ve had great relationships with. It’s just going to naturally take its course. We’ll work together and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Starter Dylan Cease is glad to continue working with Katz.

“I really owe a lot of my success to Ethan and Has,” Cease said Wednesday during a video conference call. “Ethan from day one came in and had a plan to help me and we work really well together. He was able to give me information and put me in the right direction. It’s nice not having to put a lot of mental energy into that side and I can put it in the process of what I have to do to get better.

“I owe a lot to Ethan, he really helped me take my career to the next level, which is something that I really think has to be earned consistently. I am really grateful I get to work with him. And he has definitely earned that job.”

Cease finished second in American League Cy Young Award voting this season.

“I was very happy for him, the work he put in and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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