What’s next for the Chicago White Sox pitching staff after 5 trades? ‘We want to develop and we want to win games.’


Ethan Katz had the chance to coach Lucas Giolito in high school and in the majors.

Katz was the pitching coach at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles from September 2009 through July 2013, where Giolito was part of the Class of 2012.

After time with the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, Katz joined the Chicago White Sox staff as the pitching coach in 2021.

Katz called Giolito’s trade to the Angels “a tough situation,” but added, “also, I’m happy for him.”

“He gets to go to Southern California, he gets to pitch in a playoff race,” Katz said Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. “Our relationship continues. It’s exciting. Sad. Obviously the goal is to win here and have everything happen here, but unfortunately it didn’t happen that way.”

The Sox were busy last week, trading away five pitchers. Giolito and reliever Reynaldo López were dealt to the Angels on Wednesday. Starter Lance Lynn and reliever Joe Kelly were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and reliever Kendall Graveman was sent to the Houston Astros on Friday.

“You just focus on the job and getting guys better,” Katz said of the changes. “It’s the big leagues but it’s development, whether you are a veteran or a young guy. Just developing everybody that’s here the best we can and try to win as many games as possible.”

As part of the deals, the Sox received three minor-league pitchers in Ky Bush from the Angels and Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure from the Dodgers. The Sox also received minor-league catchers Edgar Quero from the Angels and Korey Lee from the Houston Astros and veteran outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Dodgers.

Bush and Nastrini are at Double-A Birmingham. Leasure was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte from Birmingham on Sunday.

“We were really excited about the guys we were able to acquire,” Katz said. “They are getting to their destinations and looking forward to getting feedback from our coaches and seeing them in person.”

At the major-league level, Katz’s mindset remains the same after all the moves.

“I go about my business the same,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who is here. We want to get guys better. We want to develop and we want to win games. Whether we were in first place or where we’re at now, it doesn’t change.”

With Giolito and Lynn gone, the Sox have openings in their rotation. Touki Toussaint, Tanner Banks and Jesse Scholtens are among the immediate options on the roster.

“We have three guys that were with us to start the season (Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Mike Clevinger) and then we have two other spots,” Katz said. “Touki did a really good job the other day (five scoreless innings Friday against the Cleveland Guardians). He’ll have more opportunities. We’ll figure out the other spot. We have some ideas but we’ve got to get through some games first and see where it takes us. But we have some good options that we’re excited about to give guys opportunities and fight day by day.

“We have a lot of starting options here right now. Whether it’s Banks, Scholtens, Touki, there’s options here, guys who are stretched out. They might be in the ’pen today but they might be starting tomorrow, depending on how we want to match up with certain teams. We have a lot of good options here.”

There will be plenty of chances to make an impression both as starters and out of the bullpen.

“It’s a great opportunity for the guys here,” Katz said. “It’s always from a coaching standpoint exciting to help these guys develop, teach them at this level and make every day count and hopefully build for next year and see what we really have.”

What might the Sox rotation look like in 2024?

“I’m sure everyone would like to know what that looks like,” Katz said. “Right now, guys that are here are going to have an opportunity to showcase what they can do. However it turns out and how our front office and coaches will approach it, I’m sure we’ll talk a lot about different scenarios for next year.

“But we’ve still got two more months this year. Guys have opportunities to really help themselves for next year and we’ll see where it goes.”



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button