White Sox Notebook: Len Kasper, Ethan Katz, and More

It’s been quite the week of news for White Sox fans from the announcement of the new coaching staff to Friday’s bombshell announcement that Len Kasper is joining the White Sox’s radio booth on their new flagship radio home ESPN 1000.

Here’s a rundown of the news from the week that was on the Southside and some of the stories that came along with it.

2021 Coaching Staff Announced

On Tuesday the White Sox announced their complete on-field coaching staff for the 2021 season which included newcomers Miguel Cairo (bench coach), Ethan Katz (pitching coach), and Shelley Duncan (analytics coordinator).

Returnees from the 2020 staff include Curt Hasler (assistant pitching coach), Daryl Boston (first base coach), Joe McEwing (third base coach), and Frank Menechino (hitting coach).

Howie Clark (assistant hitting coach) was promoted from within the organization, promoted from Triple-A Charlotte after former assistant hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh departed for Detroit last month.

You can read a summary of the new coaching staff in my instant reaction story from Tuesday.

I also spent some time Tuesday chatting with Alexis Brudnicki of MLB Advanced Media about her friend and new analytics coordinator Shelley Duncan, who according to Brudnicki, brings much more than just a family name to the table in Chicago.

Full Story:

Shelley Duncan Bringing More than a Family Name to the Table

New White Sox analytics coordinator Shelley Duncan’s resume reaches far beyond his legendary father’s family name

Non-tender Deadline

The Chicago White Sox, as many expected, non-tendered outfielder Nomar Mazara and left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Rodon leading up to Wednesday evening’s non-tender deadline.

The White Sox also agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Jace Fry on a one-year deal on Wednesday. Full details can be seen below in the team’s press release.

Press Release Courtesy of the Chicago White Sox

With the flurry of non-tenders around the league on Wednesday evening, there are new names for the White Sox to consider this winter, particularly at the right field and designated hitter position.

I wrote about the potential fit and value of four players that could fit into the White Sox’s plans in 2021.

Katz Hard at Work

If you missed new White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz’s discussion with Danny Parkins and Ramie Makhlouf on Thursday afternoon’s installment of the Danny Parkins Show on 670 The Score, do yourself a favor and listen to it, now!

Katz talked about Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, his outlook on pitching player development, his experiences with Lucas Giolito, and much more. You can check it out, here.

Len Kasper Becomes the new Radio Voice of the White Sox

As you’ve probably heard by now, Len Kasper is leaving Marquee Sports and the Chicago Cubs’ television broadcast booth to pursue an opportunity with the Chicago White Sox as their new radio play-by-play man.

Kasper, 50, spent 16 seasons as the voice of the Cubs’ television broadcast before joining ESPN 1000 as the new radio voice of the White Sox.

In a press release by the team Kasper outlined his passion for radio baseball broadcasts;

“Broadcasting baseball on the radio has always been my dream,” Kasper said. “I am happy the White Sox were interested in having me handle their play-by-play responsibilities, and I am appreciative that the Cubs were willing to let me leave that organization on such great terms. I have always been fascinated by the creative freedom radio allows its broadcasters, and baseball is such a great game when presented on the radio.

“I have been dreaming about doing this since I was 12 years old, listening to Ernie Harwell, and I didn’t want my career to pass without experiencing this great game nightly from the radio booth. I want to thank both the Sox and Cubs for allowing me to live out this baseball dream.”

In addition to calling games in the radio booth with new partner Darrin Jackson, Kasper will be collaborating with Jason Benetti on multimedia projects and making appearances on the television side when Steve Stone is off.

The Dugout’s Benjamin J. Denen penned a heartfelt goodbye to Len Kasper from the perspective of a Cubs fan on Friday with some of his favorite moments from Kasper’s nearly two-decade tenure as the voice of the Cubs.

In a Season of Goodbyes, Len Kasper’s Might be the Hardest Yet

So, as hard as it is to say goodbye to a broadcaster that has provided the soundtrack to this era of Cubs baseball—the most successful in franchise history—I can’t help but feel happy for him as he writes the next chapter in his already storied career. The White Sox are getting one of the best in the business. Thank you for the memories, Len Kasper. You will be sorely missed.

Featured Photo: Andy Vazquez | Credit: Bay Area News Group


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