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Don Cooper Will Not Return As White Sox Pitching Coach

After agreeing to part ways with manager Rick Renteria this morning, GM Rick Hahn spoke to the media, announcing further changes. The White Sox have made the decision to move on from long-time pitching coach Don Cooper, per’s Scott Merkin and others (via Twitter). Cooper has been the pitching coach for parts of 19 seasons with the White Sox, beginning in July of 2002.

Cooper first joined the White Sox in 1988, giving him a remarkable 32 years with the organization. He was one of the longest-tenured pitching coaches in the major leagues. He was not only the pitching coach for 4 different White Sox skippers, but he actually became the manager himself for a short time at the end of the 2011 season when Ozzie Guillen was let go. Cooper then went back to his pitching coach responsibilities when Robin Ventura took over starting the 2012 season.

In recent years, Cooper has overseen the development of ace Lucas Giolito, as well as the ushering of many young arms to the major leagues. As a staff, the White Sox ranked 6th in the majors with a 3.81 ERA in 2020, but just 18th with a 8.93 K/9, and 17th with 3.71 BB/9. The change may be as much about allowing a new manager to weigh in on coaching decisions as it is about anything particular with Cooper, especially given comments from Hahn suggesting they are looking for new voices from outside the organization.

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