Rienzo in play for bullpen spot

Rienzo in play for bullpen spot

PHOENIX -- Andre Rienzo won't be part of the White Sox starting rotation at the season's outset, barring something unexpected. That fact doesn't necessarily mean he's headed to the Minors.

One spot appears to be left in the bullpen, with Daniel Webb, Jake Petricka and Maikel Cleto a few of the hurlers in play. If the White Sox decide to go with a long reliever, Rienzo jumps near the top of that list.

"You start looking at what he did [Saturday] and you can bounce around ideas of what you need and you know how he could fit," said manager Robin Ventura of Rienzo. "And that's with a lot of these guys that start getting down to the end of Spring Training. How you are going to make it work?"

Rienzo made 20 starts for Triple-A Charlotte last year and 10 for the White Sox. But it was his five-strikeout effort over three innings in relief of Jose Quintana on Saturday that led Ventura to term that effort the best he has seen the right-hander throw.

That praise brought a smile to Rienzo's face.

"[I'm] glad to see something good," said Rienzo with a laugh, adding that he has focused on keeping the ball down and trying to throw more strikes. "The only thing I have in my hands is throw the ball and do my job. It's Ventura and his staff, I don't know what they are going to do with me. But I will try doing my best every day, every time."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.