Rienzo headlines busy week for Dash alums

It was a busy week for several members of the 2012 Dash pitching staff. Here is the latest news from White Sox camp and beyond as we begin the first week of March.

Andre Rienzo pitched well for Team Brazil this weekend (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Andre Rienzo pitched well for Team Brazil this past weekend (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Rienzo earns rave reviews despite WBC loss: Dash alum Andre Rienzo surrendered just one hit over four and two-thirds innings but suffered the loss after starting for Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic Saturday against Cuba.

Rienzo struggled a little bit with his command early, walking three in the first two innings. However, the righty settled in and kept the Cuban bats quiet until the fifth inning, when they scored twice and took the lead for good. As a result, Rienzo (4.2 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 4 BB, 2 K) was saddled with a tough-luck defeat.

Still, the loss should take nothing away from Rienzo’s performance against a heavily-favored Cuban team, writes Dan Hayes of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. His effort impressed John Manuel of Baseball America, too:

Rienzo, who comes into 2013 rated as the number seven prospect in the White Sox organization by Baseball America, went 9-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 2011 and 2012 with Winston-Salem.

He was promoted to Double-A Birmingham after a 3-0 start last year and ended the season with Triple-A Charlotte. With Brazil now 0-2 in Pool Play, they will not advance to the next round of the World Baseball Classic, meaning Rienzo will be back at White Sox spring training in the very near future.

Johnson, Snodgress appear in big league games: Both Erik Johnson and Scott Snodgress made appearances for the White Sox over the last few days down in Arizona.

Snodgress impressed with the Dash in 2012. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Snodgress sported a 1.50 ERA with the Dash in 2012. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Let’s start with the good. Snodgress made just one bad pitch in a three-inning start against Milwaukee Thursday. The southpaw allowed a two-run homer but otherwise pitched well in his second effort of the spring.

Snodgress, who began the 2012 season with Low-A Kannapolis before joining Winston-Salem in July, told MLB.com’s Cash Kruth that he has enjoyed his time in Glendale:

“It’s been an awesome experience, really a dream come true. I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve learned a lot. And it’s a good place to be. A lot of guys to talk to. A lot of guys you can pick their brains and learn a lot from. It’s been awesome experience.”

Snodgress boasted a sparkling 1.50 ERA and a perfect 4-0 record in his short time in the Carolina League a year ago.

Erik Johnson became the Dash's ace after his promotion in July 2012 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Erik Johnson became the Dash’s ace after his promotion in July 2012 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Johnson, the fourth-ranked White Sox prospect according to Baseball America, did not fare as well. He came out of the White Sox bullpen  Friday against Cleveland and gave up five runs on five hits in an inning and a third.

Like Snodgress, Johnson pitched very well for the Dash after getting the call-up from Low-A Kannapolis shortly after the All-Star Break. Johnson went 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA in eight starts and nearly posted a strikeout per inning.

National Anthem Tryouts a success: Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Winston-Salem Journal National Anthem Tryouts at Hanes Mall on Saturday. More than 150 fans auditioned for a chance to sing at a Dash game this season.

If you tried out over the weekend, check out photos from the event here. Our five finalists for the Grand Prize will be announced over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.

- Rob

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