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Andre Rienzo

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Andre Rienzo Albanez

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 180 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Andre Rienzo reached the major leagues in 2013. He is also known as Adriene Rienzo.

Rienzo signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2006 as an undrafted free agent; the scout was Orlando Santana. He made his pro debut with the 2007 DSL White Sox, going 1-1 with a 7.63 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 15 1/3 IP. In 2008, he was 5-1 with a 1.30 ERA, a WHIP barely over 1 and 44 K in 40 2/3 IP for the same club. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 6th in the Dominican Summer League in ERA. In the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, he was 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA but struck out 16 in 12 2/3 IP. He tied Jean Toledo for second in the event in losses and tied Orlando Roman, Oscar Rivera and Luis Arroyo for third in strikeouts (behind Walter Silva and Pablo Morales. He started against Mexico and was roughed up (5 hits, 3 walks, 5 runs in 3 IP) in a loss to Pablo Ortega. He did well in relief in a 6-3 win over Aruba (3 shutouts innings, 5 strikeouts), pitching in between Heitor Correa and Marcelo Arai. In his last outing, he contributed a solid start against Nicaragua, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 IP and struck out 8 but lost to Carlos Perez when his team provided no offensive support. He played one more game, going 0 for 2 as a first baseman against Venezuela.

He came stateside with the 2009 Bristol Sox and fell to 2-6, 4.14. He tied for 6th in the Appalachian League in losses. In 2010, Rienzo had a 8-4, 3.65 record for the Kannapolis Intimidators, whiffing 125 in 101 innings. He tossed two shutouts, second in the South Atlantic League behind Mark Cohoon's 3. He also tied Robbie Erlin for 8th in strikeouts. With the Winston-Salem Dash in 2011, he was 6-5 with a 3.41 ERA and fanned 118 in 116 innings. He ranked 4th in the Carolina League in strikeouts and was 8th in ERA (between Chris Masters and Elisaul Pimentel.

The right-hander split 2012 between the Dash (3-0, 1.08, 31 K in 25 IP), Birmingham Barons (4-3, 3.27, 72 K in 71 2/3 IP) and Charlotte Knights (1 UER, 10 K in 6 2/3 IP), continuing his climb. He then joined Brazil for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, but fared poorly in his lone start. Against host Panama, he walked five and allowed four hits in 3 2/3 IP but escaped with 2 runs (one earned) thanks to a couple timely double plays. Ernesto Noris Chacon relieved him and Brazil stunned Panama with scoreless ball the rest of the way in a 3-2 upset. They went on to win the pool (no thanks to Rienzo as only Carlos Yoshimura had a worse ERA for Brazil and Rienzo tied Thailand's Siraphop Nadee for the most walks in the four WBC qualifiers) in a major upset to get a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Despite his work in the qualifier, Rienzo was still one of the most prominent players on the team's Roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic itself. He did better that time around and battled Ismel Jimenez and the Cuban national team through four scoreless innings. In the 5th, he allowed a run on a walk, a sacrifice, a single by Erisbel Arruebarruena and a Guillermo Heredia Jr. grounder. As he had reached the pitch count limit, Noris Chacon relieved and let an inherited run score; Brazil lost, 5-2, again faring better than expected.

Rienzo opened 2013 back with Charlotte and was 8-6 with a 4.06 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 113 innings after 20 games. He had also thrown a no-hitter against the Indianapolis Indians. He was the second Brazilian (and first Brazilian pitcher, as Anderson Gomes had been an outfielder) picked for a Futures Game when he made the World team for the 2013 Futures Game. Relieving Enny Romero in the third inning with a 1-0 deficit, he retired Austin Hedges, Billy Hamilton and Delino DeShields Jr. in order, fanning DeShields. Michael Ynoa relieved him in the 4th.

With the trading deadline coming, Rienzo was called up before the trade of Jake Peavy. When he made his major league debut with the White Sox on July 30, 2013, he became the second Brazilian-born major leaguer, after Yan Gomes, and the first to be born and raised in Brazil as Gomes had been raised in the US. Starting against the Cleveland Indians, he retired Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher in the 1st before Asdrubal Cabrera got the first hit off him (a single) to open the 2nd. He allowed three unearned runs in the 5th after an error by Alexei Ramirez but finished the day with 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, no earned runs, 3 walks and six strikeouts. He left with a lead but Donnie Veal and Matt Lindstrom blew it and the Sox lost the game. He earned his first major league win on August 21st, 5-2 over the Chicago White Sox, helped by Dayan Viciedo's grand slam. He allowed two runs over 6 innings for his first career decision.

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