GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitcher Andre Rienzo started 10 games for the White Sox late last season, but the 25-year-old Brazilian opened spring training at Camelback Ranch as the possible odd man out of the rotation in 2014.
While the Sox have indicated right-handers Felipe Paulino and Erik Johnson are penciled in to the final two spots in the rotation behind Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks, Rienzo said he is trying not to worry about where he fits into the mix.
"If they have a spot in the rotation, I'm glad -- or if it's bullpen, closer, batboy," Rienzo said. "I just try to make my job, if you need me, I'm here to help. It's not in my hands, so I don't put it too much in my mind."
Rienzo was 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 28 walks in 56 innings.
"He came up early and did great," Ventura said. "The energy he brings and how he prepares and does all that is fine. (But) he ran into a period (late in his stint) where command just became an issue. You can't have that."
Rienzo spent his offseason in Brazil, where he first rested after a long season that started with the World Baseball Classic in March. He then trained at a camp Barry Larkin and LaTroy Hawkins ran in his native country. He knows what he needs to work on to get another shot with the Sox.
"Ball down is my goal," he said. "If I (keep) the ball down, it will have more life. Most of the time when guys crush my ball, it's because my ball was high, easy to hit. I try to work on that, (keep) the ball down, the control better, cut my walks, and that will make my life longer.
"I try to work on that. I hope I impress (Ventura) and change his mind."
Live BP: Sale and Quintana threw live batting practice for the first time Wednesday.
"Having a body in there, (you're) kind of seeing how they react and getting some feedback from them," Sale said. "(You're) throwing some breaking balls and getting some feedback about what it looks like from the other side."
The duo faced off against a group that included Sox sluggers Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia, who mostly stood in to watch and get a feel for pitches.
"I'm glad I don't have to face them (in games)," Sale said. "Abreu got in there, and I was like, 'All right, someone else can pitch.' I'll make sure to keep that L screen in front of me. Those guys look good. Everyone looks like they're coming in, gaining some weight, looking strong."
Return on horizon: Ventura said reliever Nate Jones, who has been out with a gluteal strain, could begin throwing in the next couple of days.
(c)2014 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services