Andre Rienzo wondered aloud whether or not he’d still be in this position after a rough outing in Southern California on Friday.
Now that he is, albeit with a slight delay, Rienzo feels good about the confidence the club has shown in him, that he’s still a member of the White Sox starting rotation. Rienzo’s next start has been pushed back from Wednesday to Sunday, but the rookie right-hander thinks that just gives him more time to get back to being effective.
After he had a 4.00 ERA through his first seven outings (six starts), Rienzo has a 9.00 ERA in his past three games.
“I’m glad they’re so confident in me,” Rienzo said. “I have pretty good games the first four games I have, and now I have a little bit of shake. But I like the confidence shown me, and I want to answer that with good games.”
Rienzo has only seen a slight increase in his walks per nine innings over the past three outings.
That isn’t the issue. What has become a problem is that Rienzo has left more pitches up in the zone and opposing hitters have taken advantage.
[MORE SOX: White Sox, Tigers feeling World Cup fever]
After they hit .213 against him in his first seven games, opponents are batting .400 the last three outings, including seven earned runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels.
“(The break is) good for me because I need to work on something,” Rienzo said. “I make mistakes the last two games, and I paid for that. They are making me work a little bit with (Don) Cooper and (Bobby Thigpen) so we can make the mistakes not happen anymore.
“I don’t think it’s about my delivery. I just think sometimes the release point, the ball, something like that. I think it’s minimal, but I need to find it again. This timing is good to find it.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura agrees saying there was no way the team would have moved Chris Sale’s next start back. This affords Rienzo an opportunity to get back on track. The White Sox won each of his first six starts but have lost the last three times Rienzo has pitched.
“It just makes sense,” Ventura said. “We had Chris that was going to (Thursday) anyway. Give him some time. He might be tired. I think it just makes sense to skip him and get him in over the weekend.”