Rienzo Makes Costly Mistake
Righthander suspended for 50 games
CHICAGO—Just when it appeared that Andre Rienzo was turning the corner, the high Class A Winston-Salem righthander from Brazil suffered a setback.
The 23-year-old suspended his appeal and will serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.
In a statement, Rienzo, 23, said he never intentionally ingested a performance-enhancer.
"Unfortunately, during the offseason, I used a dietary supplement that I purchased at a health food store in my home country of Brazil, believing it to be legitimate," Rienzo said in a statement.
"It is now apparent that the supplement was tainted. I understand that I am responsible for what I put in my body, and, therefore, have accepted the 50-game suspension. I look forward to returning to the game I love."
Rienzo, who signed with White Sox in 2006 and was in his second consecutive season at Winston-Salem, was 3-0, 1.08 with a league-leading 31 strikeouts in 25 innings. He ranked as the No. 17 prospect in the organization following the 2011 season.
Rienzo continued to pitch about two weeks after learning of his positive test, but he and agent Paul Kinzer later decided to drop the appeal. History suggested the chances of getting the suspension lifted were slim, according to Buddy Bell, White Sox vice president of player development and special projects.
Rienzo will be able to return in mid-June and have enough time to make a strong impression.
"He's a great kid," Bell said. "You feel awful for this kid. They just have to pay attention. He just made a mistake, and we'll move forward. And we'll support him in whatever he needs at this particular time."
• Righthander Dylan Axelrod earned his second promotion to the big leagues, taking the roster spot of Jesse Crain, who hit the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury. Axelrod, 26, made four appearances with the White Sox last September, and through four starts with Triple-A Charlotte this year he went 2-1, 1.08 with 26 strikeouts and four walks in 25 innings.
• The Sox considered starting righthander Nestor Molina in a May 7 doubleheader in Cleveland but had concerns about beginning his service time. Molina, 23, went 3-1, 3.72 in six starts with Double-A Birmingham before the White Sox promoted him to Triple-A Charlotte.