Tuesday, October 9, 2012

AFL Preview: Andre Rienzo

Position:  Starting Pitcher
Height/Weight:  6'3/160
Throws/Bats:  Right/Right
Age:  24

Reviewing 2012:  2012 will definitely be a memorable one for Rienzo, both positively and negatively.  The 24-year old Brazilian started off the season by going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in over 25 innings and 31 Ks for Winston-Salem.  However, he was suspended 50 games after that for testing positive for PEDs (he says he never knowingly took it).  When he came back from suspension, Rienzo posted a 4-3 record with a 3.27 ERA in 71.2 innings for Birmingham.

Rienzo's greatest strength is his fastball which he fires in the 94 MPH range according to Mark Gonzales.  According to reports, he has great control over it and it also has nice movement.

Arizona Fall League Preview:  Obviously the biggest thing the White Sox and us fans want to see is whether Rienzo's talent is real or the result of PEDs.  Mark Gonzales believes he is a decent chance at making the majors, but if he really struggles in the AFL you have to wonder about his future with the White Sox.  Another thing that will determine the future of Rienzo is whether he can develop a decent secondary, off-speed pitch.  If not, expect him to move from a starter's role to the bullpen.

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