Rienzo Dealt to Miami…
Andre Rienzo tossed one of the most memorable games in Knights Stadium history in 2013. I ranked it as the ninth-best moment in the stadium’s 24-year history.
The Brazilian-born right-hander, who appeared in parts of three seasons with the Knights from 2012 to 2014 — was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Miami Marlins recently in exchange for left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings.
It has been a busy offseason for the White Sox with a number of trades and free agent signings over the past couple of weeks. To follow all of the latest moves, take a look back at some of my previous blog posts.
Rienzo made his Charlotte Knights debut in 2012 — appearing in one game in the regular season. He also appeared in one game with the Knights in the playoffs that season (came on in relief of Charlie Leesman, who left that game with an injury in the first inning). The Knights went to the Governors’ Cup Finals in 2012, but lost to Pawtucket.
In Rienzo’s Triple-A debut on September 2, 2012, he fanned 10 batters over 6.2 innings pitched in a no-decision against the Durham Bulls at Knights Stadium. He allowed just one unearned run in that game.
A year later, Rienzo was in the midst of a solid 2013 campaign with the Knights. He eventually took center stage and put his name in the record books on July 25, 2013. On that day — Christmas in July at Knights Stadium — Rienzo tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in game one of a doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians.
As for the season, Rienzo compiled an 8-6 record with a 4.06 ERA in 20 games with the Knights. He won his final three starts with the Knights and was one of the hottest pitchers in the International League before being promoted to the White Sox.
Five days after his seven-inning no-no, Rienzo made his Major League debut on July 30 for the White Sox against Cleveland. By pitching in that game, Rienzo became the first-ever Brazilian-born pitcher in Major League Baseball history. He also became just the second-ever Brazilian-born player in MLB history. In fact, in that game was Indians catcher Yan Gomes — the first-ever Brazilian-born player.
In 10 games with the White Sox in 2013, Rienzo went 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA (56 IP). He started all 10 games that he appeared in and fanned 38 batters over his 56 IP.
Last season (2014), Rienzo started the year with the Knights and made his first start on April 4 in Norfolk (5 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, ND). He remained busy with the Knights and White Sox — earning promotions to Chicago on a few occasions. With the Knights, Rienzo appeared in 10 games (started nine) and posted a 1-4 record with a 4.05 ERA.
Overall with Charlotte for his career, Rienzo finished with a 9-10 record and a 3.90 ERA in 31 games (30 starts). He struck out 166 batters over 166.1 innings pitched. In eight Minor League seasons, Rienzo owns a 38-30 mark with a 3.51 ERA in 121 games (106 starts). He has 627 strikeouts over his 590.1 career innings pitched in the minors.
Now, Rienzo will get a chance to pitch in Miami on the same staff as 22-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez. The Marlins have made some big moves this offseason and will go into the 2015 season with a very good chance to compete for the top spot in the National League East. With Giancarlo Stanton now signed long-term, and the additions of Dee Gordon, Mat Latos, and others, Rienzo finds himself in a nice situation.
On behalf of the Knights organization, good luck Andre!